It’s likely going to be next week before we see the NBA schedule in full, according to Marc Stein. That’s later than the schedule is traditionally released, but with so many big names still potentially on the move, setting up a national television schedule is a tricky puzzle (how many times you feature the Brooklyn Nets would depend on where Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are playing, for example).
One thing we do know: The Heat will play the Spurs in a regular season game on Dec. 17 in Mexico City, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. The NBA regularly played a couple of games in Mexico City pre-pandemic and this is a return to that tradition. The NBA also has put a G-League team in Mexico City, the Capitanes, even though it hasn’t been able to play home games there during the pandemic.
This December game will count as a Spurs home game; as an organization they are trying to expand their fanbase and footprint into Mexico.
Mexico City is one of the most underrated cities and tourist destinations in the Western hemisphere, a sprawling metropolis bigger than New York City, with fantastic art, culture, lush parks throughout the city, and — I’ll say from personal experience — street food as good as you will find anywhere. It’s also a city and a region where basketball is growing in popularity.
The challenge for the players will be elevation: Mexico City sits at Mexico City is 7,350 feet above sea level — that’s more than a couple thousand feet higher than Denver’s mile-high experience. Guys will get tired.
Expect the NBA to return to its full effort to make itself a global brand, playing preseason and regular season games around the globe, as the pandemic wanes and life evolves to its new version of normal.