At the Paris Bercy Arena,
There are nights when a naive person thinks to enjoy a sporting event 100%, like here in the first NBA game live of our lives. But in 20 minutess, our total dedication to investigative work always gets us through. Almost before reaching the press room of the Arena de Bercy on Thursday, we saw on an accreditation sheet that one of the best representatives of the media at this Paris NBA Game was… Picsou Magazine, with an expected four people. Something that piqued our curiosity, especially the areas reserved for journalists in our Proust madeleine happened to be closer to the field, with NBA employees.
And yes, the kind of mystery you do to put the issue into perspective of the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls quickly turned the suspense (108-126) by the class trio LaVine (30 points)-DeRozan (26 points)-Vucevic (16 points). Enlightenment will finally come to us at the press conference postgame footage from Bulls star Zach LaVine. Suddenly a kid takes the microphone, with glee and malice, in the middle of about sixty sports journalists: “I wear number 8 when I play basketball in my club because I idolize you. And I want to know why you wear number 8, and who was your idol when you were my age? “.
The NBA trusts a 12-year-old
A great moment of collusion between this kid and a Zach LaVine who is deeply moved by his declaration is also in the background “Kamoulox” is the strong presence of Scrooge Magazine to cause stepback and crossover. Bingo! We went to interview the hero of the post-game, who was next to his father. ” It all started with a junior reporter competition… at Picsou Magazine, the latter explained. On the occasion of this NBA match, you have to write a 100-word article to show your favorite basketball player, then you have to wait for the draw. »
This is how Nathan Robert (12), player at the Saint-Marcel club in Marseille, with the jackpot, spent the night on the sidelines, with his father and Jean-Baptiste Roux and Sébastien Floch, two journalists from the popular magazine. And with the visit to beIN Sports set as a bonus, and therefore a presence for the press conference of the players valued by the NBA. “I was quite stressed anyway, because usually I only see Zach LaVine on television, confides the young Marseillais. There, I had to encourage myself. But I’m starting to think that being a journalist is enough. » Editor-in-chief of Scrooge MagazineJean-Baptiste Roux specifies: “NBA people are very cool because they immediately accepted that Nathan could ask a question, without even knowing what he was going to ask the player”.
“A 100% NBA trip, but in France”
This coldness of the American League, organizer from A to Z or almost of this match at Bercy, we felt it immediately. Our press accreditation would never allow us, at a French sporting event, to wander everywhere around the floor, seeing passing Bulls players checking the attacks of Pistons on a computer, at two o’clock from kick-off. Even the spectators tend to leave their place in all simplicity to approach the ground, and potentially the stars will be present in the shambles Thursday night (Magic Johnson, Tony Parker, Gerard Piqué without his Twingo, Pierre Gasly…).
“With the NBA, it’s not just basketball, there’s an incredible aura around it, in addition to the show. We feel that this is an American event, and a 100% NBA trip for us, but in France”, decrypts Vincent (42), who came from Lyon with his son Quentin, who received a huge birthday present for his 11 years old. this week. Because this NBA Paris Game involves a rather dizzying budget for 14,700 spectators. Wait tight, prices vary between 80 and 815 euros, even which increases to 1,875 euros for those who want to live the ultimate experience, courtside (side of the field).
Rates are higher than what is done in the NBA
“I paid 400 euros for each of our seats, and I remember attending a game in the 2012 NBA Finals between Miami and Oklahoma City that cost me less than 200 dollars, explained Vincent. At the same time, I would do the same as them, when you see the line of madness that is outside. In this huge crowd, having to pay for a ticket whose average price is 500 euros, we even met Israelis, Romanians and Poles, who all came to Paris especially for this match. It shows how the rarity of the NBA outside its borders drives these addicts to the exploits of Michael Jordan, in the 1990s, to heat up the credit card. Along with his wife Marta and his daughter Marcelina (9 years old), Pole Arec knows he only paid 9 dollars to attend a regular season game in Atlanta a few years ago. “But there, we don’t need to get a visa to see the Bulls, Arec continued. And even though, of course, Jordan and Pippen are gone, we want to pass on our passion for Chicago to the second generation of the family. »
From closer, from Seine-Saint-Denis in this case, Sylvain (38) was like many other basketball lovers in the delivery process on Thursday, with his son Tom (11) who was amazed with lights and pre-match entertainment on the sidelines. him. “I trembled when I validated the payment of 600 euros for both of us, but I told myself that this is once in my life, he said. The opportunity is really there, they are the ones who approach us. And it would be too bad if this was not the ideal preparation before a Friday marked by a 7 o’clock alarm clock and three checks in a row for Tom at college. “Ah yes, dear, I really forgot”, said the boy, addicted to The Last Dance.
“It’s a privilege to be a part of it”
Despite all the American-style shows, and the beautiful tributes to the former NBA legends, there was an inevitable failure, at 11:30 pm, when all the fans started to leave Bercy. Because the opposition between the 10th and the last in the Eastern Conference is, as one might fear, not exciting, and moreover there is no suspense from start to finish. “We wanted to touch the atmosphere of an NBA match, said Sebastian (30), who came from Romania with a friend. Of course we will be happier with the better teams in the league. But any NBA game is still better than all the basketball we’ve seen so far in our lives. »
And now it spoils the clash between Cluj and Ploiesti, respectively first and third in the Romanian championship (ok, we went to get this information). Finally, how do players come to have this experience that remains so rare in an NBA playing career? “It was an amazing atmosphere, savors DeMar DeRozan. It was a privilege to be a part of it. In a few years, we’ll know what a great moment it was. “Nathan probably just needed a sleepover to fully understand that he didn’t have in the middle of the dream facing Zach LaVine.