The NBA is returning to Mexico City next season as this time around, the Miami Heat will take on the Washington Wizards on Nov. 2 as announced Friday by the association. It will be the 33rd game played in Mexico as the festivities will be around the “Day of the Dead” celebration or “Día de los Muertos.”

As said in a statement from the league, “The Dia de los Muertos” theme will be showcased as part of a variety of in-arena activations during the game, including a specially themed basketball court, and through the league’s fan engagement initiatives around the game.”

Miami will be participating in their third game playing in Mexico in which the prior two were both wins against the Brooklyn Nets on Dec. 9, 2017 and the San Antonio Spurs on Dec. 18, 2022. However, fans should not be surprised to see the Heat once again play in Mexico as it will feature star Jaime Jaquez Jr. whose father is from Guadalajara and is the sixth player ever with Mexican citizenship in the NBA.

A huge moment for the Heat and Jaime Jaquez Jr.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) dribbles the ball against Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) at center court on the 2023 NBA Mexico City Game logo at the Arena CDMX.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jaquez has talked time and time again how he is grateful to be one of the more prominent Mexican stars in basketball as it should be an outstanding time for him. He shined as a rookie this season where he was awarded back to back Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors and was on the NBA's All-Rookie first team as he averaged 11.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 48.9 percent from the field.

“I take a lot of pride in it,” Jaquez said to the Miami Herald last February. “It wasn’t anything I was trying to do. I wasn’t like, ‘I’m going to try to be the best Mexican or the first Mexican,’ you know what I’m saying. But it’s great that a lot of people see it that way and it’s great that a lot of people feel inspired by that and appreciate that.”

Heat's schedule shaping up

The game will take place inside Arena CDMX as Miami looks to come back after being eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. Heat president of business operations Eric Woolworth said in a statement that playing a game like this “allows us to engage with a broader basketball-loving community.”

“We are excited to return to Mexico City to bring a little of Miami’s Heat to the passionate fans of such a vibrant city,” Woolworth said. “Participating in these NBA Global Games allows us to engage with a broader basketball-loving community.”

Now that the Heat have one game revealed in their regular season, they await the rest of the schedule which is likely to be showcased later this summer. However, the team does know some of their preseason games as they announced the schedule at Kaseya Center where they “open their preseason home schedule vs. the Atlanta Hawks on October 10 (7:30PM) with additional home games on October 13 vs. New Orleans (3:30PM) and October 15 vs. San Antonio (7:30PM).”

Last season, the Heat finished at the eighth seed for the second season in a row with a 46-36 record amidst a year filled with inconsistency because of injuries. Besides focusing on the preseason and the Mexico City game, they have a busy offseason filled with the NBA Draft, re-signing key players like Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, plus possibly bringing in new stars.