Paris will host a regular season NBA game for the first time next year when the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Charlotte Hornets, the league announced Thursday.
French stars Tony Parker, a four-time NBA champion, and Nicolas Batum will lead the Hornets against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in the contest on January 24, 2020, at the AccorHotels Arena.
It will mark the first appearance in France for the Bucks, who played a 2015 regular-season game in London, and the second game in Paris for the Hornets, who played in the French capital in a 1994 pre-season game against the Golden State Warriors.
“The Charlotte Hornets are proud to have the opportunity to participate in the first NBA regular-season game in Paris,” Hornets owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan said.
“Having played in the pre-season in France during my career, I witnessed first-hand the passion the French fans have for NBA basketball. We are excited to bring our team to Paris for this history-making event.”
The Bucks have the best record in the NBA this season at 56-19 while the Hornets, 35-39, are 10th in the Eastern Conference and fighting for the last playoff berth, likely a first-round date with Milwaukee.
“We are honored to be selected to play in the NBA’s first-ever regular season game in Paris,” Bucks co-owner Wes Edens said. “Playing in one of the great cities in Europe continues our goal to extend the global brand of the Bucks.”
The contest will mark the NBA’s 10th game at the former Bercy Arena since 1991 and the 11th game in France all-time.
Opening-night rosters for the 2018-19 NBA season featured nine French players, the most of any European country for the 12th consecutive season.
The NBA Paris Game 2020 will also feature interactive fan activities and NBA Cares community outreach initiatives.
“France has a long tradition and deep affection for the game of basketball,” NBA Europe and Middle East managing director Ralph Rivera said.
“NBA fans from across Europe will flock to Paris to witness the best of the NBA, from our spectacular players, to our game entertainment, mascots, dance teams and all the ancillary events in the community.”