The NBA continues to strengthen its ties abroad. The Development League will have among its ranks the first Latin American team in its history. The Mexico City Capitanes will join the competition in this upcoming 2021-22 season although they will play the games at home in Fort Worth, Texas, due to border restrictions due to COVID-19, as reported by journalist Marc Stein.
The Raptors found themselves in a similar situation last season, forced to play their home games in Tampa instead of Toronto because of government rules on travel between the United States and Canada.
This team was founded in 2017, the year in which Commissioner Adam Silver had already advanced his intention to establish an organization in the country; a wish that has finally taken shape. Two years later it was confirmed that the Captains would be part of the Development League from the 2020-21 course. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced this incorporation to be delayed for another year.
During this time, the Mexico City Capitanes have competed in the National Professional Basketball League of Mexico. In 2018 and 2019, the team achieved the LNBP runner-up, falling in the final to the Soles de Mexicali and Fuerza Regia de Monterrey, respectively.
Stein himself has shared that the team will play all its matches in “existing league markets.” It’s unclear if that means the Capitanes will play all of their matches in their rivals’ halls, or if they will host their home games in nearby venues when available. The Texas Legends (Frisco), Austin Spurs (Austin) and Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Edinburg) are among the other Texas-based G-League teams.
(Cover photo by Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images)