NBA G League Welcome’s First LatAm Team
September 15, 2021
The NBA G League is opening its doors and extending its reach into Latin America for the 2021/2022 season. The G League will be welcoming the Mexican City Capitanes to this season. The Capitanes will be the NBA G League’s 29th team, 28 of whom are affiliated with NBA clubs. The Capitanes have signed a deal that has them playing in the NBA G league for an initial term of 5 years.
The NBA has previously journeyed into Mexico with a preseason game at the Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City in 1992. The game was between the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks. The Mexican City Capitanes are however the first franchise to be invited into the G League outside of The United States and Canada.
The first time that the statement was made regarding adding a Latin American team was back in December 2019. It was also confirmed in 2019 that the team would be from Mexico City. Unfortunately the introductory season was postponed for an entire year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Capitanes First GM is Nick Laigos
The teams first General Manager is set to be Nick Laigos. Nick has worked for the Los Angeles Lakers South Bay affiliate from 2016.
Laigos shared an Instagram post about his feelings on this new venture, he said that it is an absolute dream come true to be named the first GM of the Mexican team. He added in his post that this is the first ever Mexican team in a USA sports league and that he is truly honoured to be a part of history in the making. Laigos said he was hoping that he and his team will be able to make all of Latin America and Mexico proud of them. Laigos has dreams of elevating the standard of basketball within central and South America. Lastly he commented that he would miss his Laker family but that he isn’t leaving Los Angeles just yet.
Will Travel Restrictions Impact the Team?
Yes unfortunately the travel bans and restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic will directly affect the Mexican team. It looks like they will be needing to play all their games in The United States. They will stay in The U.S. for as long as needed during season to prevent travel back and forth.