The NBA is going to play a regular-season game in Paris for the first time next year, with the league announcing Thursday that the Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks are headed there.
The game will be on Jan. 24. Paris has hosted preseason games before, and the league hinted several times in recent months that it was considering bringing a game that counts to the city as well. Having Charlotte involved makes perfect sense, given that the Hornets feature Tony Parker and Nicolas Batum — two veterans of the French national team.
“Having played in the preseason in France during my career, I witnessed first-hand the passion the French fans have for NBA basketball,” Hornets chairman Michael Jordan said. “We are excited to bring our team to Paris for this history-making event.”
Jordan and his Chicago Bulls won the 1997 McDonald’s Championship in Paris.
Tickets for the NBA Paris Game 2020 will go on sale later this year.
“Our NBA Paris Game will showcase the continued global growth of basketball in one of the world’s greatest cities,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “With France leading a record number of players from Europe in the league, we look forward to bringing together basketball fans from across the continent for the NBA’s first regular-season game in Paris.”
The Hornets played a preseason game in Paris in 1994. The Bucks will be going to France for the first time.
“Playing in one of the great cities in Europe continues our goal to extend the global brand of the Bucks,” Milwaukee co-owner Wes Edens said. “We will be proud to represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin in Paris, and we thank the NBA for this exciting opportunity.”
The game will mark the NBA’s 11th in France all time, counting exhibitions.
“The return of an NBA game in Paris, after a 10-year absence, is a real victory for our city,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.