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Nets "raised their hand" to play in Mexico

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Raul Zarraga, the dIrector of NBA Mexico, says the Nets were the first team to "raise their hand" when the league decided to play two games in Mexico City this December.

In officially announcing the games vs the Thunder and Heat, Zarraga added that the Nets —presumably CEO Brett Yormark— offered up their home games vs. OKC on December 7 and Miami two days later.

The Thunder, Zarraga said, is "for them a very important game."

"We immediately thought it was an excellent game for us because Russell Westbrook is coming," he added. Since the Nets could only offer home games, OKC won't play in Brooklyn this season.

"And they offered us another game against an Eastern Conference opponent in which those games are always interesting. And that's why Miami is coming."

As a result, the Nets will play 39 regular season games at home this season. For Brooklyn, it’s another opportunity to create a global brand, something Mikhail Prokhorov, the league’s first international owner, has wanted since he bought the Nets in 2010. Yormark has long said the Nets will raise their hands when it comes to overseas commitments.

The games will mark the first time the NBA has hosted four regular-season contests in Mexico in the same calendar year. Last January, the Phoenix Suns took on the Dallas Mavericks (Jan. 12) and the San Antonio Spurs (Jan. 14) in Mexico City.

"They (NBA) saw the passion. They saw the arena,” said Zagarra. “They saw the passion of the people when they were in the arena as well as in the streets with all the activities that we had....the parties, the business meetings, they all liked it. They said we are interested to go to Mexico.”