NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gave an awfully exciting update on the possibility of expansion in an interview during the broadcast of the Boston Celtics-New York Knicks game on Monday evening.
Per Keith Smith of Spotrac and Jordan Daly of NBC Sports Boston, Silver told Brian Scalabrine and Mike Gorman on the Celtics’ game broadcast that the NBA will indeed expand once the new television contracts are completed.
“Mexico City is easy in terms of, I mean it’s high altitude, it’s 2,000 feet higher than Denver, so that affects the players a bit, but it’s a shorter flight to Mexico City from New York than it is to LA, so…One day, I think that would be incredible to actually expand to a market like Mexico City,” Silver said, per Daly.
Silver mentioned Mexico City, Vancouver and Montreal as possible locations, Smith noted.
Vancouver was home to the NBA’s Grizzlies from 1995 to 2001 before relocating to Memphis (the “Grizzlies” team name was retained). The Grizzlies failed to generate strong attendance and simply ran out of financial resources to keep the team in the Pacific Northwest.
But the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks are one of the biggest markets and have no problem attracting fans to games. The NBA has scheduled several preseason games in Vancouver over the years, including Canada’s only team in the Toronto Raptors.
Both the NFL and the NBA have played several games in Mexico City. With a population of more than 20 million people, Mexico City would unquestionably be a successful market for the NBA to expand to.
Montreal is home to the NHL’s Canadiens and previously had the Expos of Major League Baseball, before the team relocated to Washington in 2005. The city has pushed hard for a new MLB franchise, with expansion team serving as the only realistic hope.