The NBA game in Paris between Detroit and Chicago says everything about the importance of France

DAVID JENSEN/Getty Images via AFP CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – DECEMBER 14: Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons brings the ball up the court in the second half against the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center on December 14, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, the User agrees to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. David Jensen/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by David Jensen/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP)

DAVID JENSEN/Getty Images via AFP

French point guard Killian Hayes, during the NBA game between the Charlotte Hornets and the Detroit Pistons, December 14, 2022.

BASKETBALL – For the second time in its history, France will have the honor of hosting an NBA regular season game. After the first race of the American basketball league in Paris in January 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic, with the Milwaukee Bucks-Charlotte Hornets meeting, it returns to the capital this Thursday, January 19.

At 9 pm, the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons will face each other at the AccorArena, in a match reminiscent of the 90s, although the two teams, currently in 10th and 14th place in the Eastern Conference, are now far from level of their glorious years past.

If the stakes of this meeting therefore appear to be limited to the ground, above all it is necessary to be interested in the symbolism around this event, which allows France of basketball to see itself more appreciated in the choice of the NBA that return to Paris.

For what it calls the “NBA Global Games”, the American league has stopped in Mexico every year since 2014 (except for 2020 and 2021), but Paris is the only stopover outside America for this season. The French capital took over from London, which hosted eight matches between 2011 and 2019. And this match – whose seats were sold out very quickly – should prepare another one next year, as entrusted to HuffPost Jacques Monclar, consultant of beIN SPORTS, channel that broadcasts the game at night and throughout the NBA season. This was also suggested by league boss Adam Silver.

What characterizes France’s influence in international basketball and in the NBA, has been undeniable for several years and the announced sensational arrival next year of Victor Wembanyama in the league will only accentuate it.

The French, player of the Metropolitans of Boulogne-Levallois, is very problematic in the future number 1 of the draft and already qualified as“extraterrestrial” of league star LeBron James, the source of all fantasy with his extraordinary physique – the height of 2.21 m at 19 years old – and his particularly atypical game, especially offensively. “Highlights” of his actions in the French championship are already circulating on social networks and are already widely covered in the American media.

Tony Parker showed the way, Victor Wembanyama will make it famous

If the “Wemby” hype should therefore appear in the United States next fall, strengthening France’s place in the NBA, the latter has been built gradually, in stages, since the arrival of Tony Parker in 2001. The French guard led the way by winning one title in 2003 with the San Antonio Spurs, before adding three more in 2005, 2007 and 2014.

Confident in the performance of “TP” and the possibility of success in the biggest league in the world, French players landed there little by little, so that every season now, about ten French players play on the American courts.

At the start of the 2022-2023 fiscal year, with nine representatives, France offered Australia the second largest contingent of international players behind Canada (23 players). Among them, Nicolas Batum (Los Angeles Clippers), Rudy Gobert (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Evan Fournier (New York Knicks) stand out with particularly large contracts, a sign of the importance the three players have acquired in the league in passage of time. .

“We have NBA players who have made the NBA finals, from Mike Pietrus to Ian Mahinmi, with of course Tony Parker, Boris Diaw… We have players who voted for the best defender (like) Joachim Noah. (…) It is not a discovery that France is a land of the NBA “want to clarify to HuffPost Jacques Monclar.

And the succession seems certain, with, in addition to the arrival of Victor Wembanyama in a few months, the extraordinary success of Killian Hayes this season with the Detroit Pistons, which the Paris public will see at work this Thursday night. “It’s really lucky to come home, play in front of my family and friends, who I haven’t seen play in a while.”delighted the 21-year-old leader.

Finally, the influence of French players in the NBA has made a step forward for the French team, which has been in top terms for four years: third in the World Cup in 2019, finalist in the Olympic Games in 2020 and finalist in Eurobasket. in 2022. A good performance at home is now expected for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, with the potential reinforcement of the Cameroonian star of the Philadelphia 76ers, Joël Embiid, who obtained French nationality last summer and could come to reinforce the Blues.

And when footballer Kylian Mbappé was given a standing ovation by an entire room for his simple presence in the recent NBA match between the Brooklyn Nets and San Antonio Spurs, indeed, France is not done with it with the US prosecutors .. .

See also at The HuffPost :

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *