Najera hopes to own team in Mexican league

Updated: April 23, 2007, 12:43 PM ET
Scripps Howard News Service

Eduardo Najera isn't content to just be a player. He also wants to be an owner.

Eduardo Najera

The Denver Nuggets' forward, broadcaster TV Azteca and several soccer clubs have tentatively agreed to form a professional basketball league in Mexico.

Najera, the only Mexican athlete in the NBA, wants to own a team in Chihuahua, his home state, according to Roberto Gonzalez, his manager.

The soccer franchises, including Chivas and Atlante, have signed letters committing to the project, said TV Azteca's Enrique Garay. A formal agreement making it official, he added, would come next.

The consortium also is reaching out to the NBA, hoping that the league will serve as a training ground and produce players to follow in Najera's footsteps.

Mexico has a pro basketball association, but the new plan calls for a more sophisticated approach, Garay said in a telephone interview.

"And if you have TV involved, that's half the battle," Gonzalez said, adding he's confident their vision will become reality.

Having the high-profile soccer clubs behind the plan, he said, is another key. While basketball has grown in popularity, he said, it's not going to threaten soccer as the country's most popular sport anytime soon.

TV Azteca aired NBA games for a long stretch, up until a few years ago, Garay said.

What kind of owner would Najera be?

"Eduardo does business like he plays," said Gonzalez, a former basketball player himself. "He's intelligent, prepared and aggressive."