When the NBA moved to Paris to please fans


The Chicago Bulls won the 2023 NBA Paris Game over the Detroit Pistons this Thursday, January 19, at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy (126-108). Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan delighted French and European fans under the eyes of Tony Parker or Magic Johnson.

From our special correspondent at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy,

This beautiful, icy rain didn’t stop the crowd in Paris from waiting patiently for the doors to open for the NBA meeting between Detroit and Chicago. The second NBA meeting between Milwaukee and Charlotte moved to the French capital in 2020 is a new success. With more than three hours to go before the match, the two friends eagerly await the beginning of the magical evening.

“Usually, the NBA, we see it on TV at night.”

It’s great to be here says young Milo, from Lyon. Usually in the NBA, we see it on TV at night. And there we will see it in real life. They aren’t the two best teams of the season, but this is a historic poster in the NBA. There are superstars like DeMar DeRozan or Zach LaVine (Chicago), great. We will also meet our compatriot Kilian Hayes (Detroit). He is eagerly awaited tonight “. Nine French players play in the NBA.

It’s really lucky to come home and play in front of my family and friends who haven’t seen me play in a long time. There are thirty teams (from the NBA) who could have been picked, then they picked ours and the Chicago Bulls, so we have to take advantage of that opportunity. “, commented Killian Hayes earlier this week. ” Let him have fun, it’s his moment, I’m proud of him. His family is there, even his grandmother. He progressed as a player ,” says coach Dwane Casey, who was drafted No. 7 in 2020. Bulls).

Chicago is one of the favorite teams of basketball fans in France

For NBA fans, this is an event. There is a real public in France. And even Europe came. I prefer Chicago because I love DeRoza “, – says young Ernest, who broke the piggy bank to attend the meeting. Chicago remains one of the favorite teams of basketball fans in France, especially thanks to Michael Jordan, who spent 13 seasons with the Bulls. ” Expectations are high because of the team’s success in France. As coaches and players, we put pressure on ourselves and that’s unusual. It means we have fans Chicago coach Billy Donovan comments.

North American Basketball League, ” will probably return to Paris next year “said NBA executive Adam Silver in a roundtable with some media on Wednesday.

Thus, the world’s biggest basketball championship can organize its third event in four years in Paris, the year of the Olympics, which is another sign of its openness to the world.

25 years ago, teams were reluctant to travel, even for preseason friendlies “, Adam Silver reminded. “ For the coaches, it was a distraction, interfering with the regular season. It’s very different now, not least because 25% of League players were born outside the United States. Our best players are European. I inform you that we will develop this sport on the African continent. »

French and European market development

This new initiative is also part of CBA’s desire to develop the French market, one of the largest across the Atlantic. ” It is the 1st largest producer of NBA players outside of North America NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum noted. “VSt is an exceptional opportunity for players to come here to France to promote this sport. Basketball has developed a lot in France and it is a source of pride to be there, even if we prepare as usual. But we want to show what the NBA is all about Dwane Casey commented.

NBA leaders indicated this week that the Dallas meeting should soon be held in Madrid, the city where Mavericks star Luka Doncic is known in Europe for Real Madrid. A match is planned in Greece.

Demar DeRozan’s joy

Since the 2018-2019 season, the trophy for the best regular-season player in the NBA has been held by two Europeans: the Greek Cannis Antetokounmpo and the Serbian Nikola Jokic, each of whom has been awarded twice. Before them, the only basketball player from the Old Continent to do so was Germany’s Dirk Nowitzki in 2007, a sign of a strong trend in recent years.

I will remember this game for years to come. The atmosphere was extraordinary and above all we were playing under the eyes of Magic Johnson “2016 Rio Olympics Gold Medalist DeMar DeRozan Confesses.” It’s great, we played well. We had fans, families. I never imagined coming to play in Paris. It was worth being here concluded Zach LaVine, whose great-grandfather is French and who wears No. 8 as a fan of Kobe Bryant.

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