The NBA is going international once again.
On Thursday night, commissioner Adam Silver revealed that the NBA is launching a G League team in Mexico City, Mexico. And this isn’t a way down the road thing, either; the team will begin competing next season.
The NBA will launch a G League team in Mexico starting the 2020-21 season. Commissioner Adam Silver is announcing the news in his press conference shortly.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 13, 2019
How is the NBA able to make this happen so quickly? Simple: They’re not building an expansion team in Mexico City.
Instead, the NBA is tapping into an existing team in the market. Capitanes de Ciudad de Mexico, a team established in 2017 that currently plays in the Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional will transfer to the G League for the 2020-21 season.
The NBA G League and Capitanes, a professional basketball team based in Mexico City, today announced that Capitanes will join the NBA G League as its first team from outside the U.S. and Canada.— Dave DuFour (@DaveDuFourNBA) December 13, 2019
Capitanes will make its debut for the 2020-21 season.
Per NBA PR
Capitanes will not be affiliated with any NBA team, making it the only G League team not to be. There are currently 28 G League teams, each with an NBA affiliate. Only the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers lack G League teams (and those franchises can still send their developing players or two-way contracts to other G League teams).
This is, of course, not the league’s first foray into international markets, as the Toronto Raptors and their G League affiliate play in Canada. But it now makes for three countries that the league has teams in, and perhaps more importantly, Mexico City is the largest media market in North America.
It may be only a matter of time before Capitanes is joined by an NBA team.
In the meantime, some Golden State Warriors players will be getting their visas out, as it’s safe to say the Santa Cruz Warriors will be visiting Capitanes next season.