Heat to Play Regular Season Game in Mexico City

Jeremy Lin of the Brooklyn Nets looks to pass around Ish Smith of the Detroit Pistons during the second half at the Palace of Auburn Hills

Brooklyn will also play the Miami Heat on Saturday, December 9.

NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook, and Chinese-American playmaker Jeremy Lin will be featured in two regular-season games to be played in Mexico City next season, the league announced Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).

Miami is scheduled to play December 9 versus the Brooklyn Nets, the second half of the two-game regular-season fiesta.

While this is the first time that Atkinson and company will play in Mexico, the Nets have played in the country before. It may also signal an uptick in the number of games we can expect to see played there in the future. It was the 14th game to be played in Mexico City. The event itself is a celebration of the NBA's games in Mexico City.

Last season, the league hosted two games in Mexico City in January, which makes this the first time the National Basketball Association will host four games there in a calendar year.

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The two-game trip, which is part of the NBA's Global Games Schedule, is being looked at as an opportunity to build stronger bonds for a team that is hoping to bounce back from a league-worst 20-62 record in 2016-17.

The Nets, soon to be known as "Los Nets", will be the home team in both contests, meaning their regular-season home slate in Downtown Brooklyn will be cut to 39 games, rather than the traditional 41. Clearly coming to Mexico City just because of the huge population here in Mexico but in essence as a gateway to the rest of Latin America could potentially be very important to the league.

In addition to the on-court action, NBA Mexico City Games 2017 will feature a variety of interactive fan activities, NBA Cares community outreach initiatives and Jr.

The NBA regular season has been moved up this season to better space the games, with the season opener to be on October 17. If the league is really serious about expanding its global footprint, Mexico City is one market to keep an eye out for as the next step.

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