The NBA is expanding its reach into Mexico. Capitanes, a Mexico City-based team from the top Mexican professional basketball league Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional, will be joining the NBA G League starting with the 2020-21 season, the league officially announced on Thursday. 

Capitanes will be the league’s 29th team and the first outside of the United States and Canada. The team will play its home games at the Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera in Mexico City.

“Bringing an NBA G League team to Mexico City is a historic milestone for the NBA which demonstrates our commitment to basketball fans in Mexico and across Latin America,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.  “As the first G League franchise based outside of the U.S. and Canada, we look forward to welcoming Capitanes to the NBA family.”  

Silver has contentiously championed the importance of continuing to grow the league on an international level, and this is clearly a step to do just that. The league has held successful regular season contents in Mexico City dating back several years, and Silver has previously pointed to Mexico City as a gateway to the rest of Latin America. 

“In terms of a franchise in Mexico City, it’s something that we’re going to look at,” Silver said back in early 2017. “This is a competitive market, well over 20 million people… Clearly coming to Mexico City just because of the huge population here in Mexico but in essence as a gateway to the rest of Latin America could potentially be very important to the league.” 

Starting with the ’20-21 season, Capitanes will play in the G League for an initial term of five years.  

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