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NBA Visiting Mexico City and Seattle in 2018-19

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The Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard dribbles against the Suns’ P.J. Tucker during an NBA game in Mexico City on Jan. 14, 2017. Photo: AP

By Evan Weiner |

The National Basketball Association is getting ready for the 2018-2019 season and the schedule includes a pre-season stop in Seattle and a pair of regular season games in Mexico City. Whether there should be an added emphasis to the hype around those three games is debatable.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and his owners know the Seattle market, know that there is money in that area and know that the Seattle SuperSonics old arena is being renovated, unless there is some sort of change of heart by Seattle politicians and they stop the project when they meet in September to discuss the arena renovation progress. NBA officials also know that the National Hockey League will be in Seattle by 2020 and that the NBA probably won’t get around to putting a franchise in the market until the end of both the present TV deal and the end of the present collective bargaining agreement in about six years. One pre-season basketball game is not going to make any difference in the thinking that Seattle does or does not deserve another opportunity to have an NBA franchise.

Mexico City is different. There are some unknowns about the market and how to do the day-to-day basketball business in the country. Mexico City is the most populated city in North America. There seems to be money and corporate interest in the NBA in the Mexican capital.  

The NBA is doing due diligence and needs to find out if Mexico City is a legitimate NBA market or if it is a place where you can stage a couple games a year and get locals to buy NBA related merchandise. There is a slow approach in finding out about the Mexico City market and that will continue through 2020. The NBA has staged 26 games in Mexico since 1992.

Money talks and the NBA is looking for pesos.

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

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