Back in the late 2000s, fans of the Seattle SuperSonics and the Sacramento Kings were desperately clinging to their home teams amid speculation that both franchises were going to relocate.
In the end, the city of Anaheim almost landed the Kings, but a last-ditch effort by Sacramento’s former mayor (and ex-NBA All-Star), Kevin Johnson, helped the city retain its beloved professional basketball team. The city of Seattle, on the other hand, did not fair as well. Their team relocated to Oklahoma City and renamed themselves the Thunder, following a $350 million transaction between the former owner of the Seattle SuperSonics (Howard Schultz) and a businessman from the state of Oklahoma named Clay Bennett. Since then, it has been well-understood throughout the NBA that the next two cities in line to receive strong consideration for an NBA expansion team would be Seattle and Las Vegas. After all, both areas possess the economic structure, a prime location for tourism, and proven fanbases that are capable of supporting a team in professional sports. However, according to reports, Mexico City recently leaped ahead of those regions as the leading candidate potential NBA expansion team.
The recent success of the NBA’s only international team, the Toronto Raptors, and the way in which the franchise has galvanized the entire country of Canada prompted the league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, to strongly consider expanding to America’s neighbors south of the border. In recent history, Mexico City has hosted numerous exhibition games between NBA teams, and one year ago, the Capitanes became the first-ever G League team outside of the U.S. and Canada. In a recent appearance on NBA Today, NBA Insider Mark Spears went further in-depth about the viability of a new NBA team in Mexico City.