Photo: Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images
The passage of the recently retired Gustavo Ayón in the NBA, from 2012 to 2014, has been one of the most important factors for the League to boast 30 million fans in Mexico.
“Having players like Ayón and Toscano in the NBA helps us to have more digital consumptionmore interest in downloading the ‘League Pass’ (live transmission service to watch the League)” the vice president and director of the League in the country, Raúl Zárraga, responded to Efe on Thursday.
Ayón, winner of 12 titles with the Spanish Real Madrid, He was the third Mexican to debut in the NBA; Before him was Horacio Llamas, from 1997 to 1998 with the Phoenix Suns, and Eduardo Nájera, with 14 seasons between 2001 and 2012.
After the winner of two Euroleagues with the merengues, who retired last August, Jorge Gutiérrez followed, between 2014 and 2016, and Juan Toscano-Andersonwho in June became the first Mexican to be an NBA champion by winning the title with the Golden State Warriors and currently belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Ayón, like the rest of the Mexican players who have been in the NBA, have left an important legacy for the new generations. Gustavo was always committed to the fans, the community. In addition to being an NBA legend, he was at Real Madrid, he is a player who has had a gigantic performancewhich showed Mexicans that it can be reached,” added Zárraga.
According to manager figures, Mexico is among the 10 most important markets for the NBA outside the United States and China since Mexicans occupy the fifth place that most downloads the ‘League Pass’ and among the 10 with the most followers on social networks.
Hence the best basketball league in the world decided to expand for the first time outside the United States and Canada with Capitanes de Ciudad de México in the G League and that he celebrate his 31st game on Mexican soil with the San Antonio Spurs-Miami Heat on December 17.
The executive celebrated the return of NBA regular season games to Mexico since 2019, when the last two games were played: Spurs-Suns and Mavericks-Pistons.
The meeting on December 17 will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first NBA game in the countrybetween the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks in 1992, and will leave Mexico as the country that has hosted the most NBA games outside the United States and Canada.
“San Antonio celebrates its 50th anniversary and since the return of the NBA to the country was glimpsed, San Antonio asked to be in Mexico to celebrate him for the six times he has played here before. They have five million fans in Mexico and they are interested in having them come to watch their games,” Zárraga said.
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