This week, NBA and beIN SPORTS, the official broadcast partner of the NBA in France, announced that the Charlotte Hornets and the Milwaukee Bucks will play in the NBA’s first regular-season game in Paris on Friday, January 24, 2020, at the AccorHotels Arena.
The NBA Paris Game 2020 Presented by beIN SPORTS will mark the Hornets’ second game in Paris, having played a preseason game in the French capital in 1994 against the Golden State Warriors. The Hornets’ roster currently features three-time NBA All-Star Kemba Walker, four-time NBA Champion Tony Parker (France) and fellow countryman Nicolas Batum.
In an interview with NBA star Tony Parker, he expressed his excitement for the game and more.
On the popularity of the NBA in France…
I don’t know, I think the way that the NBA market themselves and the image that they have and all the players that have been through the league through the years – NBA basketball has always been very big in France. They really love it so that’s why the NBA has done a really good job in exposing NBA basketball to French fans.
I went to France twice with the Spurs in ’04 and ’07 I always had a great time and the arena was always packed. Now that there’s a regular season game, it goes further in that maybe one day there will be an NBA Europe section.
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On the first regular season game in France…
It’s amazing the way the NBA is growing and now we’re going to play a regular season game in France, that’s pretty amazing. It’s a great honour for my country to receive a game like this and I’m especially proud that it’s the team that I play for that are coming. I’m sure it’s going to be an amazing event and an amazing game.
On playing at home…
For me, it’s unbelievable to play at home in front of all my family and all my friends. It’s going to different because it’s a meaningful game, but that’s great.
On French players in the NBA…
I think the way we play basketball, we’ve got a lot of speed and a lot of the guys are very athletic so we’re very close to the NBA in that respect. I think that’s why we get a lot interest from NBA scouts because they love the way we play.
On leaving a legacy in Europe…
The NBA always does a really good job wherever we went. Obviously, we went to France with the Spurs twice, in both Paris and Lyon. We went to Germany; we went to Turkey. Every time we went we would do a lot of work for the community there and make sure we make an impact.
On the Hornets in Paris…
Oh, they’ll do a great job. Obviously, everyone knows our owner [Michael Jordan] in France. He’s a big part of why basketball is so big in France so I think everyone is going to be looking forward to the event in France.
Tickets for The NBA Paris Game 2020 Presented by beIN SPORTS will go on sale at a later date. Fans can register their interest in tickets and gain access to presale information and more by visiting NBAEvents.com/ParisGame.