Nets general manager Sean Marks and coach Kenny Atkinson have emphasized the culture they are building within the organization, and now they will take part in a multi-cultural experience when they play two regular-season games in Mexico City, the NBA announced on Wednesday.
The Nets face Oklahoma City on Dec. 7 and meet Miami on Dec. 9 at Arena Ciudad de Mexico. Both games are considered Nets home games, reducing their schedule at Barclays Center from 41 appearances to 39. They will be televised by ESPN and also by Televisa in Mexico as the NBA Mexico City Games 2017.
The games are the 25th and 26th staged by the NBA in Mexico since 1992, and they are the Nets’ first foreign appearance since they played Atlanta in London in 2014. The Nets also previously played an exhibition in Mexico City in 1999.
“The Brooklyn Nets are honored to be the host team for the 2017 NBA Mexico City Games and help the league celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first NBA game in Mexico,” Marks said in a statement. “We are excited to take part in fostering the NBA’s global outreach and to connect with the Nets’ current and growing fan base in Mexico. 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.”
Atkinson cited his extensive international experience and two previous trips to Mexico City when he spoke about the event in a Facebook Live video from the Nets practice facility. “I did NBA Basketball Without Borders in Mexico City, and I coached the Dominican national team (when) we played the FIBA Championships in Mexico City,” Atkinson said. “I really felt the passion of the Mexican fans. It’s an incredible city, great culture.”