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Bring the NBA to Mexico City



Mexico City is one of the biggest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world, and it deserves an NBA team.

Mexico City is one of the biggest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world, and it deserves an NBA team.
Image: Getty Images

The first time I ever went to Mexico, my dad brought us to visit our grandparents, who were alive and living in San Benito, a Texas border town. In the early 90s, we crossed over to buy inexpensive medicine and trinkets from vendors. We had grown up poor, mostly living in trailer parks and spare rooms at aunt’s and uncle’s houses. But when we crossed the border into Mexico, I saw poverty on a scale I didn’t know existed. Mothers hoisted milk cartons attached to tree branches for change as naked children huddled around her.

That memory stayed with me until the next time I visited. This time I was headed to Mexico City to attend and review the Material Art Fair, a contemporary art event highlighting emerging artists of all mediums. I was on assignment for Artforum magazine and had no idea what to expect. I was prepared for the level of poverty I experienced in the border towns as a child.

What I experienced was more akin to a European city than anything I had experienced in Mexican-American-centric cities in Texas like San Antonio or Brownsville. Mexico City is an incredibly cosmopolitan city, filled with gorgeous architecture, world-class museums, and five-star restaurants.

There are many must-see locations, including Chapultepec Castle, where Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet was filmed, Frida Kahlo Museum, Palacio de Bellas Artes, and The Angel of independence. The city has become one of the meccas of contemporary art. Institutions like Museo Jumex, Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Soumaya Museum, Casa Estudio Luis Barragan, and Machete Gallery are world-class institutions with exhilarating exhibitions. This brought me to the city to visit Material and the city’s prestigious Zona Maco art fair.

Many artists from the United States have migrated to Mexico City for a more affordable way of living, raising questions of colonial gentrification and connecting the city to global pipelines of art communities. The Material Art Fair happens every year in February. It brings in artists, curators, and gallerists from England, Germany, Portugal, and Puerto Rico, while featuring the best up-and-coming galleries and performance spaces in Mexico City. The event takes place in Frontón México, an Art Deco structure that dates back to 1929, hosting literary and sports events.

As the NBA contemplates where to expand next, Mexico City should be the top choice for where the league establishes a foothold next. Former commissioner David Stern had the grandiose vision to expand the NBA into a global league. Mexico City provides an international city close enough to the other 30 teams in distance to satisfy these goals. It also presents the opportunity for the league to expand professional sports outside America’s borders for the third time since the Toronto Raptors (founded in 1995) and Vancouver Grizzlies (1995 – 2001). The benefits go beyond revenue. It’s also about presenting basketball as an olive branch towards a country with a contentious relationship with America in its political dialogue. Mexico City has over 22 million people, good enough for the largest city in North America, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the world, and the largest Spanish-speaking city. The opportunity exists to spread the teachings of the game in another language while integrating Mexico’s culture and values into the league.

This season, The NBA began to build a relationship with the city by instituting the Capitanes de Ciudad de Mexico as part of the G League. They have also scheduled NBA games in Mexico City, allowing the league to gauge the turnout for two of the league’s most popular teams with Hispanic fans in the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. The game will take place on Dec. 17 and will be the 31st game hosted by Mexico, which leads every other country but Canada to host international-held games. The game will also mark the 30th anniversary of the league’s first game in Mexico, which featured a preseason game between the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks at Mexico’s Palacio de los Deportes in October 1992. Today, the Capitanes de Ciudad de México play at Arena CDMX, which holds 22,300 fans.

Of all the cities seen as viable to bid for a team — including Las Vegas and Seattle, both of which deserve one — Mexico City can offer the largest audience. As the only American professional team in the country, a Mexico City-based NBA team has the potential to galvanize all of Mexico and even Central and South America. The Capitanes de Ciudad de México are televised nationwide on Star+, whose reach extends to Latin America, and ESPN Mexico, which reaches 22.1 million Mexican homes. It’s not hard to imagine the same televised access for any NBA team that made Mexico City home. That is an unprecedented reach for a single NBA team, not to mention untapped advertising opportunities with Latin American brands.

As it has shown with art fairs, World Cup matches, and fashion shows, Mexico City is on par with Paris, Rome, London, and New York City in style and scale. At this time, expansion is not imminent, but one can imagine with the rapid growth of the league, expansion is sure to come. When it happens, the untapped potential across the border has to be considered when determining which city becomes the next NBA destination city. In the case of Mexico City, the NBA needs it as much as it needs the NBA. Therefore, it’s up to the league to look past misconceptions, fear-bating rhetoric, and ignorant assumptions to see the beauty of Mexico City as a destination for hoops, food, and culture.

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Pedro Porro speaks about Tottenham for first time as flight and medical booked




ncoming signing Pedro Porro has spoken publicly for the first time about his move to Tottenham ahead of boarding a plane to London.

Standard Sport understands the right-back will complete a £39million move from Sporting later on Tuesday, the final day of the January transfer window.

The move was thrown into doubt on Monday after Sporting reneged on the deal by asking for more money, despite Porro having said his goodbyes and with a medical in London booked.

Further talks have revived the transfer and Porro, who was absent from training and understood to be distraught by the hold ups, will now finalise the move on Deadline Day. He spoke to reporters at Lisbon airport on Monday evening.

He told CMTV: “I’m grateful to Sporting, I love the club.

“I didn’t train as I was only focused on the transfer to Spurs but I will always be thankful to the club.”

Porro is expected at Hotspur Way on Monday evening, where he will stay overnight before becoming a Spurs player on Tuesday.

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Derby 0 – 2 West Ham



West Ham booked a fifth-round FA Cup tie at boss David Moyes’ former club
Manchester United with a comfortable 2-0 win at Derby.

Jarrod Bowen’s third goal in two games gave the Hammers a first-half lead and Michail Antonio headed home their second five minutes after break.

The Londoners made it back-to-back wins after beating Everton 2-0 to climb out of the Premier League’s bottom three nine days go and rarely needed to hit top gear as they halted League One side Derby’s 19-game unbeaten run.

West Ham's Michail Antonio, left, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the English FA Cup 4th round soccer match between Derby County and West Ham at Pride Park stadium in Derby, England, Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Michail Antonio also got on the scoresheet for the Hammers

West Ham boss Moyes now faces a reunion with former side Man Utd at Old Trafford in the last 16 after being drawn to face the Red Devils in the draw just before Monday night’s routine win at Pride Park. The match will take place in the week commencing February 27.

How West Ham eased past Derby

Paul Warne’s side are flying high in fourth place in the third tier and there were high hopes of an upset among the home faithful before kick-off in a Pride Park crowd of 25,308.

Derby forward Tom Barkhuizen wasted no time in breaching West Ham’s defence, scampering clear in the opening minute before his cut-back was scrambled clear.

Bowen shot tamely at Derby goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith soon after, but was not so wasteful in the 10th minute.

Antonio’s ball over the top caught Derby flat-footed and Bowen volleyed home Tomas Soucek’s neat headed pass from six yards.

Derby’s best move of the half saw James Collins volley just off target after Barkhuizen had run on to Craig Forsyth’s dinked pass to pick out the Derby striker with a fine cross.

Barkhuizen and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing offered Derby’s best hopes of getting back on level terms before the break, but they had no shots on target in the first period.

The good news for Rams fans at the break was their side were still in the tie against a top-flight side who were not at their best.

But five minutes into the second period the home side fell 2-0 behind. Derby skipper Curtis Davies’ sliced clearance span into Bowen’s path down the right and his cross was headed in at the far post by Antonio after deflecting off Forsyth.

Warne sent on four substitutes – Eiran Cashin, Liam Thompson, Lewis Dobbin and Tony Springett – soon after and their fresh legs gave Derby a lift.

Haydon Roberts was an inch away from connecting fully with Dobbin’s excellent cross, but the Rams were soon back-pedalling again.

Bowen was denied in quick succession by Wildsmith’s point-blank save and Cashin’s last-ditch tackle before Ben Johnson’s angled drive was kept out by the Derby goalkeeper.

The Rams were full of endeavour until the final whistle and Dobbin was close to being rewarded for an impressive cameo display when shooting straight at Alphonse Areola, but on the night County could not bridge the gulf in class.

Bowen: You’ve got to beat the best to win the cup

Jarrod Bowen said “to be the best you’ve got to beat the best” after West Ham were drawn to face United in the fifth round.

“I found out (about the draw) on the bench. We’ve got Man Utd away so listen it’s never easy and if we want to be successful in these competitions we’ve got to beat the best teams,” Bowen told ITV Sport.

“With respect to Man United they’re a top top team but we’ve been there plenty of times before and you’ve got to beat the best to be the best.”

Bowen added: “It was nice to score against Everton and tonight as well. I think the situation that we’re in, any sort of confidence from any player…

“The last two to be involved with was very good for me but I think for us, two wins on the bounce as well, two good results for us and it’s all about momentum in this game and I think we can use this going forward.”

Warne: We can’t knock the lads

Derby manager Paul Warne told ITV Sport: “In fairness West Ham played a professional performance, at times I thought we went toe-to-toe but I don’t think we did enough to score unfortunately.

“We can’t knock the lads tonight, we asked them to be the best versions of themselves against a Premier League team so not bad.

“But we probably didn’t have enough graft in the final third but I can’t really knock them and we know West Ham haven’t got an easy draw next but I wish them a sincere good luck.

“I thought the lads gave a good account of themselves at times and at times they were punching.”

What’s next?

Derby return to League One action on Saturday at home to Morecambe – kick-off 3pm – before travelling to Wycombe on Saturday February 11; kick-off 3pm.

West Ham’s next game is away to Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm.

Saturday 4th February 5:00pm

Kick off 5:30pm

The Hammers then host London rivals Chelsea on Saturday February 11; kick-off 12.30pm.

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NFL’s ratio of Black QBs to Black head coaches is all wrong



Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts
Photo: AP

Marlin Briscoe is smiling in heaven. Doug Williams probably has a huge grin on his face. The first Black starting quarterback in NFL history — Briscoe — and the first Black quarterback to start and win Super Bowl MVP — Williams — are the giants whose shoulders Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts are standing on. And between Rihanna’s halftime performance and the fact that we’re about to watch history made as two Black quarterbacks take center stage in sports’ biggest game — you could make the case that it’s destiny, given that it will all take place during Black History Month.

But, don’t let this moment distract you from the fact that Black coaches are still getting a raw deal at a time in which Black quarterbacks are being elevated like never before. Two things can be true at once, this is why this moment is such a joyous, yet infuriating one.

Sixteen years after we watched Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy make history as the first two Black head coaches to appear in the Super Bowl, we’re watching Mahomes and Hurts do it for Black quarterbacks. But since that February day in 2007, things for Black coaches have seemed to fall apart as they’ve improved for Black quarterbacks.

Eleven Black quarterbacks started Week 1. Now compare that to the three Black coaches who had jobs when the season began — Mike McDaniel doesn’t count, as he chooses to identify as a human being with a Black dad.

When Lovie Smith got fired in Houston, three became two. And as we wait for the remaining hires to be made, there isn’t a track record or feeling that anything will be done in the next few weeks to greatly improve these dismal numbers. We’re at a point in which the league, the owners, and fans are fine with having a Black man be their quarterback — but not their coach.

Over the years, the trajectory for Black quarterbacks has steadily risen in a way that hasn’t happened for Black coaches. By the time we reach kickoff, it will mean that eight Black quarterbacks have started in the Super Bowl. It’s a direct result of evolution over the years. What was started by Fritz Pollard, Briscoe, and Williams led the way for Michael Vick to be the first Black quarterback drafted No. 1 and for Steve McNair to be the first Black quarterback to win MVP — which was followed by Mahomes and Lamar Jackson.

Progress on the field, not on the sidelines

This type of progress isn’t something we’ve seen with Black coaches, though. At roughly this point last year, there were only two Black head coaches in the league — Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh and David Culley in Houston. As we know, Culley would get fired after one season by the Texans and would get replaced by Smith, another Black coach that would be fired after a lone year on the job. Brian Flores’ class-action lawsuit (which was joined by Ray Horton and Steve Wilks) is still hovering over the league. But, you wouldn’t know it the way that Wilks wasn’t able to keep his interim tag — which is a death sentence for Black coaches — with the Carolina Panthers despite doing a wonderful job.

In 2000, Dennis Green (Minnesota) and Dungy (Tampa) were the only two Black full-time head coaches in the NFL. Twenty-three years later, we’re in the same place, but worse. The XFL is just weeks away from rebooting and their eight-team league already has four Black head coaches. It’s a jarring stat that embodies just how big this problem is, despite what Todd Bowles thinks.

“I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about it, everybody else will as well,” one of the two Black coaches in the league had the audacity to say earlier in the season.

In less than two weeks, a league that’s majority Black will make history when two Black quarterbacks play in a game that will feature entertainment before the game and during halftime from Black performers in a month that’s dedicated to recognizing the contributions to what Black people have made to this country. It will be a joyous occasion.

However, while you’re enjoying the game, I beg of you to ask one question to the company you’ll keep on that day. “If the NFL, America and the world can accept all this Blackness, then why won’t they accept Black coaches?” And while you’re waiting for people to answer that question, realize that “End Racism” was etched on the field all season. 

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