After weeks of rumors, the NBA and the Nets made it official Wednesday: The team will play regular-season games against the Thunder and Heat at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico on Thursday, December 7 and Saturday, December 9, as part of the NBA Mexico City Games 2017.
“We’re honored to play in these games,’’ Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said Wednesday on a Facebook Live video from HSS Training Center. “I’ve obviously traveled a lot in the basketball world and been to Mexico City twice and know what a great fanbase there is. We’re honored and playing two good teams. The Mexican fans are going to have a good time watching us play these games.”
The Nets will be the home team which would seem to mean that Russell Westbrook, the NBA’s reigning MVP, will not make an appearance at Barclays Center this season. The Thunder of course traded for another NBA superstar, Paul George, this summer as well.
The games, which will be televised around the world on NBA TV, are the Nets first overseas foray since the Nets traveled to London in 2014 to the play the Hawks.
The Nets have a continued commitment to expanding their global brand. In addition to the games in Mexico City, the Nets have played two preseason games in China including Beijing and Shanghai in 2014, and have made three trips to London, playing a preseason game against the Miami Heat in 2008, two regular season games against the Toronto Raptors in 2011, and a regular season game against the Atlanta Hawks in January 2014.
In 2010, shortly after Mikhail Prokhorov bought the team, the Nets became the first team to travel around the world during preseason, practicing in front of Prokhorov in Moscow, then flying on to Beijing and Shanghai for games with the Rockets before heading back across the Pacific to New York.
Sean Marks, himself a transplanted New Zealander, said of the events…
“We’re excited to take part in fostering the NBA’s global outreach and to connect with the Nets current and growing fanbase in Mexico,” Marks said. “Our players and staff are looking forward to exploring Mexico City and its culture, while providing fans with the experience of two regular-season Brooklyn Nets games.”
No word yet on how season ticket holders will be effected by the reduction in home games. However, fans will have the chance to pre-register for the Mexico Games and to be the first to know about ticket sales and receive exclusive pre-sales prices via http://www.nbamex.com/MXGames2017.