Great show in Bercy for the return of the NBA after three years. Among many VIPs, Chicago stands out
Magical atmosphere, so-so match. The Chicago Bulls, which even in this version certainly do not remember those of Jordan who passed from Paris 25 years ago, at the Accor Arena in Bercy dominate the Detroit Pistons 126-108. Magical atmosphere not only due to the presence in the front row of the acclaimed Magic Johnson, but because the French public didn’t get squeamish about the level of play that could be reviewed and enjoyed every second of the 48′ match. The NBA has been missing in these parts for three years and the talent and the show guaranteed by the stars and stripes basketball are still a guarantee of fun. DeRozan has confirmed that he is a giant among giants, but the Bulls (21-24) remain work-in-progress in the playoff perspective: at least one trade would be desirable to shuffle the cards. The Pistons (12-36) confirm that they are an immature team. Too young to be competitive without the injured Cunningham. Even if the flashes of Duren and Ivey are promising and Bogdanovic would be useful for more ambitious teams. Ah, there was Wembanyama, at the game. He would have been useful to both teams…
31-24 Bulls at the end of the first quarter. Then 65-56 at halftime. DeRozan enchants, another offensive category compared to those around him. Bogdanovic’s points keep the Pistons in the game and they accelerate when they can take advantage of the athletic skills of the many young talents in transition, but who too often forget to defend. Hamilton and Ben Wallace, present in the front row, are bitter. After 24′ 16 points for DeRozan and 12 for Bogdanovic. Then 93-79 at the end of the third quarter after a “treat” by LaVine who will finish with 30 points. The Pistons can no longer go back down.
Victor Wembanyama, 18 years old, French prospectus, forbidden dream of NBA lottery teams, is sitting on the sideline. It’s also his night. Parker, Noah, Turiaf and Pietrus, the French glories of the past who intervened to charge the public, pass the baton to him. He seems at ease, wearing a denim jacket, when he greets and applauds the audience announced by the speaker as “Wemby” before half-time. Already used to media pressure despite his age. Predestined, they say, indeed swear, many insiders. We’ll see.
The Commissioner spoke for over 30′ before the game. “Fantastic to be back in Paris after the 2020 apparition. Immediately after the pandemic had broken out…I don’t see many masks around anymore, Paris is back to the vibrant city it was before Covid. 25 years ago, at the time of the appearance in Paris of the Bulls, then of Michael Jordan, for the McDonald All American, European players in the NBA were 7% of the total, now they are almost a third. The league grows globally. I spoke with French President Macron, we agree on the importance of sport to represent positive social values. Tonight I will shake Wembanyama’s hand for the first time (not the last, he is alluding to the 2023 Draft in which the big boy from Metropolitans 92 will probably be the first overall choice), and then in 2024 there will be the Games, here in Paris”. He then has the opportunity to range beyond the transalpine contingency. “Yes, LeBron will be honored in real time if he breaks Abdul Jabbar’s all-time points record. We’ll stop the match, we’ll do something on the spot, but not too much because he’ll have a team facing him that wants to win, so we’ll celebrate more fully on a later occasion, maybe at the All Star Game, if he breaks the record before the stars’ match of Salt Lake City.” Other hot topics of current affairs: “We are working with FIBA to have increasingly uniform rules in world basketball. We have proposed to the players union to reduce the threshold for prospects to access the NBA from 19 to 18. It was an expected proposal, now it’s a declaration of intent.
January 19 – 11.45pm
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#Paris #Magic #Bulls #dominate #Detroit
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