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Bulls to play Magic in Mexico City this season

| Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

Zach LaVine might want to brush up on the term “machacar.’’

The NBA announced Tuesday that LaVine and the Bulls will participate in the Mexico City Games. They’ll face the Magic, considered the home team, on Dec. 13 at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico. ESPN will broadcast the game.

It will be the third consecutive season in which the NBA plays two regular-season games in Mexico City. The Magic also will host the Jazz on Dec. 15.

“We are honored that the NBA invited the Chicago Bulls to be a part of sharing a game we love with a global audience,’’ president and COO Michael Reinsdorf said in a statement. “While our home town is Chicago, the Bulls are fortunate to have fans around the world, and we are excited to take our team on the road and help bring the NBA game experience to Mexico City.

“On behalf of the entire organization, I want to thank [commissioner] Adam Silver, the NBA and Mexico City for this opportunity.’’

As part of the announcement, the NBA and entertainment company Zignia Live also forged a multiyear partnership to collaborate on future games in Mexico over the next several years.

“Returning to Mexico City for two regular-season games this season reinforces our commitment to growing basketball in Mexico and Latin America,’’ 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.’’


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The Bulls-Magic game will mark the 27th NBA game played in Mexico since 1992. It will feature two of the league’s high-flying players in LaVine and Aaron Gordon, who squared off in one of the more epic slam-dunk contests in 2016, won by LaVine.

It also will feature a showdown of talented rookie big men in Mohamed Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. The Bulls brought both players to Chicago for private workouts before the draft in June. After Bamba was selected with the sixth overall pick, the Bulls grabbed Carter seventh.

The Bulls were interested in Bamba, especially because of his defensive presence, but they believed Carter would be a great consolation prize.