This year, European NBA fans were treated to an epic showdown in the heart of Paris between two long-term rivals – the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons. These Eastern Conference teams traveled to France to showcase their talents to the world at the first NBA Paris event.
It was a brilliant game and we think that it is something the NBA needs to capitalize on further to give non-USA fans a chance to see their idols play in person. Below, we provide a roundup of the event including where it was held, who played, which NBA picks showcased their talents, and of course, who won!
Hopefully this is the first of many NBA tour locations
This is not the first time the NBA has flown their teams to global locations and it’s hopefully a trend that will continue. Indeed, in recent years, there have been NBA games held in London, the UK. Towards the end of 2022, there was also a game in Abu Dhabi to cater to the Middle East market.
2023, however, was Paris’ turn. Tickets sold out virtually instantly and we didn’t manage to get any, which was incredibly disappointing. You could buy tickets from the official Accor Arena website, but the NBA also offered a range of experience packages which were pretty cool.
For example, some included the ticket, plus the chance to see the Bulls’ six NBA trophies or even meet an NBA star. Obviously, the prices were reflective of this, but there were some cool basic experiences too that included the ticket plus an NBA League Pass subscription.
It all felt very well put together, including the dedicated Paris event page on the NBA website, the way they promoted it and the accessibility.
The venue – Accor Arena
The game was held at the Accor Arena, which is quite central in Paris on the banks of The Seine and only a short distance from notable attractions such as the Place de la Bastille, Musee Rodin and Musee d’Orsay. If you were traveling from another country, it would be quite easy to have an enjoyable city break that combined basketball and sight-seeing.
One thing we did notice leading up to the event was the hotel prices and the lack of available transport. Things such as the Eurostar were all but sold-out days before the game, and hotel prices certainly increased – especially near the stadium. If you do want to attend an event like this, we advise booking well in advance to try and avoid price hikes.
The teams – Chicago Bulls vs Detroit Pistons
Admittedly, the teams on display were not the best in the league and it would have been nicer to see a matchup such as the Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics, for example. Regardless, the Bulls and Pistons made the most of the spotlight and certainly put on a show.
In recent times, the Bulls have improved slightly, and Zach LaVine seems to have found his groove. It was also great to see the rookies and youngsters of Detroit shine under the spotlight. Of course, older basketball fans will know that the Pistons and Bulls have history too from during the Jordan era when the bad boys and Mike had some incredibly brutal playoff matchups.
The game – Bulls put on a dominating performance
The Bulls ended up with a fairly dominating win of 126-108 and they led throughout the game from the first quarter. Their superstars LaVine and DeRozan both but on great scoring displays with Zach getting a game-high 30, and DeMar coming close with 26. Vucevic had a great performance too with a solid 16 points, 15 rebounds and six assists and certainly made a difference on the court.
Alex Caruso was his usual pesky self and managed to get four steals and three blocks, while the other players gave help when needed. Detroit just seemed to lack something and didn’t really have an answer to the two Chicago superstars. Bogdanovic continues to prove he is one of the league’s most efficient scorers with 25 points, and Saddiq Bey and Jaden Ivey had decent games too – alas, it just wasn’t enough, and the Pistons never really looked like they would take the lead.
What is next for global NBA?
This was a fantastic shift and an exciting new addition to what the NBA has to offer. It’s clear that they are trying to boost the global appeal of the league and events like this in Paris are sure to help.
The NBA is already incredibly popular worldwide, but in terms of actually being able to watch your favorite superstars, unless you are a US citizen, options are limited. So, we hope that they continue this trend and look to add more regular season matches in different countries!
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.