NBA’s Mexico City G-League team to play in USA this season due to COVID

Cuauhtemoc, Juarez Doctores Benito Juarez city skyline
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

We are not through this pandemic, and it will impact this upcoming basketball season in a variety of ways.

For example, this season the NBA will have its first team in Mexico as part of the G-League, the  Mexico City Capitanes. However, due to COVID-19 protocols on both sides of the border, the team will have to relocate to the United States for this season, a story broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Capitanes will be based out of Fort Worth, Texas, but play games in different markets (the details of that likely will come with the details on the upcoming G-League season, which have yet to be released by the league.

Last NBA season, the Toronto Raptors had to play their entire season in Tampa Bay because of COVID travel restrictions into Canada. Raptors president Masai Ujiri says that set the franchise back “years.”

The Capitanes are one of 30 G-League teams this season — the first time there are as many G-League teams as NBA teams — but one of only two without a direct NBA team affiliation (the other is the Ignite, made of up elite prospects who opted not to go to college as well as some former NBA veterans).