While much of the current conversation around NBA expansion has been focused on Las Vegas and Seattle, league commissioner Adam Silver is already thinking several steps beyond that — even outside the U.S.
Appearing this week on NBC Sports Boston’s coverage of a Celtics-Knicks game, Silver said he’s actively thinking about a potential NBA franchise in Mexico, as well as further expansion in Canada.
“One day, I think that would be incredible if we could actually expand to a market like Mexico City,” Silver said.
The commissioner added there’s also “interest” in bringing a team to Montreal, as well as in a potential return to Vancouver, where the Grizzlies played from 1995 to 2001 before relocating to Memphis.
“It began so much as a hockey market when we first expanded there,” Silver said of Canada. “Obviously, they still love their hockey there, but there will be more opportunity over time.”
In any instance, league expansion won’t likely move forward until after the NBA completes its upcoming round of domestic media rights negotiations.
The NBA recently returned from its latest game in Mexico City and will play again in Paris in January. Silver said that while playing more international games is likely, he remains highly mindful of the impact of extended travel on players.
“It’s a balance,” Silver said. “But we are very much a global league.”