“We’re not looking at expansion at the moment, but at the time we do turn to expansion, just as we’ve had enormous success in Canada with the (Toronto) Raptors, we do see enormous opportunity in Mexico City and think it could become the franchise for Latin America,” Silver said. “Mexico City is a city with over 20 million people, a country of 130 million people, and a huge Mexican American population. We’re only looking at it from a more general standpoint – and we’re playing games (there) again in Dec. (the Brooklyn Nets are playing against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec. 7 and the Miami Heat on Dec. 9). It’s something we’ll continue to keep eye on.”
The NBA has given the Miami Heat the all clear to play its Dec. 9 game in Mexico City against the Brooklyn Nets. The league said the Arena Ciudad de Mexico, where the games will be played (the Nets play the Thunder Dec. 7 in the same arena) did not suffer any damage from the magnitude 7.1 earthquake last Tuesday with an epicenter about 100 miles from Mexico City.
It’s been three months since Turkey canceled the passport of Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter. But the story is not over yet. The Thunder will play the Brooklyn Nets in Mexico City on Dec. 7. Kanter’s status for that game remains uncertain. Without a valid passport, he is unable to travel to another country other than Canada, which allows entry from U.S. residents who have a Green Card. There is no such agreement with Mexico.
Kanter could receive a re-entry permit, a special document issued to citizens of other countries whose passports have been canceled for reasons the U.S. government deems unsuitable. The permit would allow Kanter to leave the U.S. for another country, such as Mexico, and still return. And the plan is for Kanter to acquire one before OKC’s game in Mexico City. Still, he is yet to receive a re-entry permit, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. There is, however, still ample time for that process to complete.
The Brooklyn Nets will play two regular-season games in Mexico City this season, the NBA announced Wednesday. They will play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec. 7 and the Miami Heat on Dec. 9 at Arena Ciudad de Mexico. The games will be broadcast live on ESPN. “These games will be our 25th and 26th in Mexico, the most played in any country outside of the United States and Canada,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “They will also mark the 25th anniversary of our first game in Mexico City, a milestone in our relationship with our Mexican fans and a further indication of our desire to strengthen our ties to Mexico and Latin America.”