The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Orlando Magic 120-119 in a sold-out game in Mexico City, despite stormy weather. The National Basketball Association (NBA) views Mexico as a potential growth market and sees it as a gateway for expanding the sport throughout Central and Latin America. NBA commissioner Adam Silver expressed the league’s desire to have an NBA franchise in Mexico City in the future. He also mentioned that the NBA has been conservative in its growth strategy but aims to establish a presence in every market possible. Silver highlighted the Mexico City team Capitanes, which joined the NBA G League in 2021, as an example of the NBA’s efforts to grow basketball in Mexico. The ultimate goal is for all 30 NBA teams to play in Mexico City, although scheduling challenges make it difficult to add more regular-season games. The game between the Hawks and the Magic marked the 32nd NBA game hosted in Mexico. The atmosphere was festive, with nearly 20,000 fans in attendance, and former NBA champion Scottie Pippen made a surprise appearance, receiving a standing ovation. Local fans are excited about the prospect of a Mexican franchise and more regular-season games but believe the NBA should adjust its pricing in the country and bring in bigger teams. They feel that ticket prices for the Mexico City game were too high compared to prices for games in the US and Canada. Despite this concern, fans appreciate the unique experience of attending NBA games in Mexico City and the opportunity to see former NBA stars.
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