New York (AFP) – The Orlando Magic will play the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz in NBA regular-season games next December in Mexico City, the league announced Tuesday.
The NBA also announced a new deal with Zignia Live that will secure two regular-season games a season at Mexico City Arena for each of the next three campaigns.
Orlando will face the Bulls on December 13 and meet the Jazz two nights later in the third consecutive season to see two NBA contests in Mexico City.
In all, the NBA will have staged 28 games in Mexico since 1992, the most played in any nation outside the United States and Canada.
“Returning to Mexico City for two regular-season games this season reinforces our commitment to growing basketball in Mexico and Latin America,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.
“NBA teams have been playing in Mexico for more than 25 years, and the Bulls, Jazz and Magic organizations are excited to continue the tradition of bringing the live game experience to our passionate Mexican fans.”
Orlando’s lineup includes Aaron Gordon and Mohamed Bamba, a 7-footer (2.16m) whose parents emigrated to the United States from Ivory Coast.
“Having played in England twice, Japan, China, Mexico and Brazil, the Orlando Magic are always honored to participate in the NBA’s Global Games,” said Magic chief executive Alex Martins.
“From our previous experience of playing in Mexico City, we know the passion of the fans and look forward to this amazing opportunity.”
Utah features Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio and reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert of France, while the Bulls’ roster features two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner Zach LaVine and Finnish forward Lauri Markkanen.
It will be the fourth time the Jazz plays in Mexico, the first time in 15 years.