NBA Charlotte Hornets Stars Look Forward to NBA Paris Game 2020

Nicolas Batum

The game, presented by beIN SPORTS, takes place on Friday, Jan. 24, and will mark the first regular-season NBA fixture to be played in France. 

A limited number of tickets for the game, featuring the Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks, will go on presale this Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 11 am CET via the ‘Verified Fan’ system. General sale begins on Friday, Oct. 25 at 11 am CET.  

With the NBA's expansive overseas market and a sport experiencing consistent growth in Europe, French-born Batum expects a good reaction from fans:

“The fans know the game. So being home, it’s going to be special. My whole family is going to be there, people from my home country are going to be there, so it will be a great moment.”

The 6'8" Hornets shooting guard is proud to be bringing the NBA to France:

"An NBA game is special. It’s different. I’m thankful for the city, for the country to have two NBA teams to compete in Paris so the fans can really see that live. The NBA is really big in France. They love basketball, so that’s good for them."

This won't be the first time the Hornets have competed in Paris, having played a 1994 preseason game there against the Golden State Warriors. 

Center for the Hornets, Cody Zeller, appears more excited about the reaction his teammates will receive:

It’s exciting. It’ll be fun to see the reception Nic (Batum) gets obviously. A few years ago, we had Jeremy Lamb go over to China, and to see him back in China was pretty cool. I think it will be the same reception for Nic. Hopefully Tony (Parker) can make an appearance. Then just for me personally, to go to Paris will be a fun trip. I took four years of French; I don’t know any French. My teacher used to give a question of the day, which she used to rattle off. And the only thing I knew was “J’aime le basket,” I love basketball. She’d ask what’s the weather like outside, I’d be like “j’aime le basket.

Spanish-born centre, Willy Hernangómez, is looking forward to the opportunity to bring his team to Europe:

Every day, we will be talking about European things. I’ll try to invite all my teammates to come to Spain to see different cities and see my culture. European cultures are very different from here. I think there’s going to be a big change for them to get to know the different country, culture, and try to learn both. It’s great."

Bucks v Hornets

Although it's all a fun experience for the team and the fans, Hernangómez still has his sights set on victory for the Hornets:

I think it’s a big chance for fans to see in person an NBA game, try to have fun. They will see how hard we practice and how close we are as players to the fans. I think maybe we are the best league, the NBA, to be that close with the fans. And just to have fun, for them and for us. It will be a fun week. Hopefully, we can get the win too.”

Verified Fans can purchase tickets for the NBA Paris Game 2020, presented by beIN SPORTS, via presale at 11 am CET on Wednesday, Oct. 23. Tickets will go on public sale at 11 am CET on Friday, Oct. 25.

For more information, please visit: NBAEvents.com/ParisGame  

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