It is a great first which obviously calls for others. NBA boss Adam Silver announced during a press briefing that a new regular season match for the competition would be held in Paris in 2021, on the eve of the very first hosted by the French capital on Friday January 24 at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris-Bercy. A formalization which confirms the noises of corridors in recent weeks, as well as the wish of the North American Basketball League to establish a lasting presence in the French capital. Silver did not hide it, ensuring that the NBA would be "in Paris for many years", while specifying that no agreement had, for the time being, materialized this wish.
Will there be another game in Paris next year and will the NBA settle in Paris for a long time?
Adam Silver: We will come back. We will replay next year in January. We do not yet know with which teams. We are already talking to several of them. We already have too many candidates! This year's game has yet to take place, but we can see the huge interest in people, who are still trying to buy tickets, in the media and in an unprecedented number of sponsors . We will be in Paris for many years, even if for the moment the only commitment we have is for next year.
What makes Paris attractive to the NBA and why did you leave London after nine years?
First, the fact that France is a big market for basketball. There is a long tradition, a first class federation which produces a surprisingly high number of NBA players. There are also the close relations between France and the United States. It is a very attractive market for fans, not only for Americans but across Europe. This mid-season event has become in many ways like a European All Star Game. What also helps is that Paris is a beautiful city, with first class hotels, restaurants, tourist activity. It's the same reasons that make people from all over the world visit Paris. The question was not that of a lack of popularity in London, it was time to move. There was a long period during which the Arena [de Bercy] was under renovation, then it had to catch up with its calendar schedule with other events, which filled the room and delayed our return by a few years. "
How were the franchises chosen?
It is a combination of factors. It depends on the interest of the teams, the popularity of their players, sometimes their connection with certain markets. This year we have Milwaukee who leads the league and has a European player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, our latest MVP. Charlotte has a French player [Nicolas Batum] and Michael Jordan [the owner] wanted to return to Paris where he was immensely popular as a player. Many teams would like to play. There is an advantage for those of the Eastern conference because the journey is easier. We never had to force the teams because we have so many volunteers.
The France 24 week summary invites you to come back to the news that marked the weekI subscribe
Download the appgoogle-play-badge_FR