NBA adds minor-league team in Mexico City

Mexico City NBA minor-league affiliate announcement
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA prides itself on being a global league.

Now, it will spread its minor league beyond the United States and Canada.

NBA release:

The NBA G League, the NBA’s official minor 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.

Capitanes becomes the NBA G League’s 29th team and will make its debut for the 2020-21 season.  The team will play its NBA G League home games at the Gimnasio Juan de la Barrera in Mexico City.

The NBA was headed this way for a while. It appears the Capitanes will follow the initial plan of not being affiliated with an NBA team. Presumably, most of their players will be NBA free agents. The team could also sometimes host players from the Nuggets and Trail Blazers, the only two NBA teams without a minor-league affiliate.

The NBA’s minor league draws just moderate interest. This won’t suddenly bring in massive revenue from an untapped market.

But among the minor league’s purposes? Experimenting for the top league.