PARIS (AP) — Victor Vembanyama was sitting near the court, The 19-year-old French phenom and considered No. 1 NBA draft pick considering some of the players he’ll go up against next season.
And a guy with a French surname put on quite a show.
Zach LaVine – who said his great-grandfather was French – scored 30 points as the Chicago Bulls held on for a 126-108 win over the Detroit Pistons in Thursday’s NBA Paris game.
“Maybe the air here was good for me,” Lavin said.
DeMar DeRozan added 26 points for the Bulls, and Nikola Vucevic finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.
Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pistons with 25 points. Kilian Hayes, the only French player on either roster, scored four points for Detroit on 2-of-13 shooting, but he had a game-high eight assists.
Hamidou Diallo had 17 points on 7-for-8 shooting for Detroit, while Sadiq Bay and Jaden Ivey each scored 16 for the Pistons.
“It was a little disappointing not to be a winner tonight,” Hayes said.
It was the capper of several days celebrating the NBA in France, when both teams participated in clinics, tourism events such as a visit to the Eiffel Tower, some expensive dinners and even a private show. Pistons at the Paris Opera House,
And when the games counted — Chicago (21-24) finished 10th in the Eastern Conference and clinched what would have been the final play-in spot with the win, while Detroit fell to 12-36, the second-worst mark in the NBA — it was no mundane. There was also no mid-season regular-season matchup.
The celebrity list included NBA legends like Magic Johnson, Richard Hamilton, Ben Wallace and Tony Parker; a Bulls legend and native French son in Joaquim Noah; The rising star that everyone in Vembanayama can’t stop talking about; WNBA players such as Gabby Williams; Even Grammy winners and Formula 1 drivers.
“I don’t want to compare it to the All-Stars,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said, “But it’s the closest thing we have to a European All-Star Game.”
It was also a celebration of the continued strength of International Footprint on today’s NBA game. When the Bulls and Michael Jordan – along with BJ Armstrong, then a Bulls guard, now an NBA agent who was at Thursday’s game – played in Paris during the 1997 preseason, nearly 1 out of every 14 NBA players was born in the US. was out
Now, it’s almost 1 in 4.
Pistons coach Dwayne Casey said, “It’s special because we’re representing not only Detroit, but the NBA.” “And we’re trying to put the brand in a good place — a place where basketball is starting.”
Vembanyama and his family About 15 minutes before tip-off, fans made their way to the court seats, immediately attracting a large crowd. When the cameras caught up to him and showed him to the French fans on the big in-arena screen in the second quarter, he clapped and smiled, as did his mother sitting a row behind on his right shoulder — as the crowd positively cheered. Shook up from
Both the teams are returning home on Friday.
Bulls coach Billy Donovan said, “It’s great for people here in Paris to see the NBA up close.” out.”
Bulls: Derrick Jones Jr. had 12 points for Chicago, including four highlight-reel dunks – No surprise for the former NBA dunk champion. … Ayo Dosunmu scored 13 for the Bulls. … Chicago shot 54%.
Pistons: Jalen Duran’s travel debut was an imperfect one — he lost his passport — then he settled down and had a perfect shooting game, going 4-for-4 from the field on his way to an 11-point, 12-rebound effort. … Isaiah Stewart grabbed 11 rebounds.
Of course, the NBA has teams in the US and Canada, and this game in France furthered the list of countries where the league has played or practiced this season.
Mexico hosted a game between San Antonio and Miami last month. The Heat also had a training camp in the Bahamas, and the league went to two other countries for pre-season games – Golden State and Washington played twice each in Japan, while Milwaukee and Atlanta played twice each in the United Arab Emirates.
It was a “home” game for the Pistons, even though Paris is nearly 4,000 miles from Detroit. As the home team, the Pistons had to bring several personnel on the trip—including some game operations workers and members of the stat crew working the scoring tables.
James Capers, Carl Lane and Natalie Sago were sent in to execute the game. All three referees had games in the US on Saturday, then traveled to Paris.
Bulls: Hosts Atlanta on Monday.
Pistons: Hosts Milwaukee on Monday.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA And