NBA Mexico Game
The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced that as part of the league’s ongoing commitment to growing the game in Mexico, preseason basketball will return to the country when the Phoenix Suns face the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 18 in Monterrey. This marks the NBA’s second visit to Monterrey and the 18th game in Mexico overall, the most NBA games held in any country outside the United States and Canada.
NBA Mexico Game 2009 will give fans in Mexico the chance to see two exciting teams and some of the league’s biggest stars compete in the state-of-the-art Arena Monterrey. Currently, the Phoenix Suns’ roster features four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal, two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash, and the 2006-07 NBA Sixth Man of the Year and Brazilian native Leandro Barbosa. The Philadelphia 76ers, who made the 2008-09 NBA playoffs, are a young team on the rise, whose lineup currently features Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young. Tickets will be on sale as of June 1st at www.arenamonterrey.com.
“We're thrilled about the opportunity to bring some of the NBA's most exciting teams and accomplished players to Monterrey," said NBA Senior Vice President of International Development and Partnerships Emilio Collins. "Our fans in Mexico are some of the most passionate in the world, and this year's NBA Mexico Game is sure to provide them with an unforgettable NBA experience.”
The league first visited Monterrey in 2006, when the Golden State Warriors defeated the Denver Nuggets in front of a sellout crowd at the Arena Monterrey. Mexico is the only international country other than Japan and Canada to ever host an NBA regular-season game, when the Houston Rockets defeated the Dallas Mavericks in front of the sold-out Palacio de los Deportes on Dec. 6, 1997 in Mexico City. The WNBA also staged an exhibition game at Arena Monterrey in 2004, when the Detroit Shock defeated the San Antonio Silver Stars.
NBA Mexico Game 2009 is the second preseason game the NBA has announced that will be played outside the United States and Canada this October. The Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz will play in London, UK on Oct. 6 as part of NBA Europe Live 2009 presented by EA SPORTS. To date, the NBA has staged a total of 93 games outside of the U.S. and Canada in 31 cities in 16 countries and territories.
During the 2008-09 season, a record 66 games per week were available for fans in Mexico via television and broadband. NBA merchandise is currently sold at retail outlets throughout the country and the annual NBA Gatorade 3x3 interschool league and tournament tipped of on April 20 and is expected to have a record number of teams participate. At the end of the 2008-09 NBA season, NBA rosters featured 17 Latino players, including New Jersey Nets forward and Mexican-born Eduardo Najera.