Tony Parker: “It’s a great honour for my country to receive a game like this”

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 19: Tony Parker #9 of the Charlotte Hornets handles the ball against the Phoenix Suns on January 19, 2019 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

Following the NBA Paris Game 2020 announcement earlier today, Tony Parker, who will be travelling to Paris with the Charlotte Hornets, shared this thoughts about the game, NBA’s impact on French basketball and more.

On the popularity of the NBA in France…

I don’t know, I think the way that the NBA market themselves and the image that they have and all the players that have been through the league through the years – NBA basketball has always been very big in France. They really love it so that’s why the NBA has done a really good job in exposing NBA basketball to French fans. I went to France twice with the Spurs in ’04 and ’07 I always had a great time and the arena was always packed. Now that there’s a regular season game, it goes further in that maybe one day there will be an NBA Europe section.

On the first regular season game in France…

It’s amazing the way the NBA is growing and now we’re going to play a regular season game in France, that’s pretty amazing. It’s a great honour for my country to receive a game like this and I’m especially proud that it’s the team that I play for that are coming. I’m sure it’s going to be an amazing event and an amazing game.

On playing at home…

For me, it’s unbelievable to play at home in front of all my family and all my friends. It’s going to different because it’s a meaningful game, but that’s great.

On French players in the NBA…

I think the way we play basketball, we’ve got a lot of speed and a lot of the guys are very athletic so we’re very close to the NBA in that respect. I think that’s why we get a lot interest from NBA scouts because they love the way we play.

On leaving a legacy in Europe…

The NBA always does a really good job wherever we went. Obviously we went to France with the Spurs twice, in both Paris and Lyon. We went to Germany, we went to Turkey. Every time we went we would do a lot of work for the community there and make sure we make an impact.

On the Hornets in Paris…

Oh they’ll do a great job. Obviously everyone knows our owner [Michael Jordan] in France. He’s a big part of why basketball is so big in France so I think everyone is going to be looking forward to the event in France.

The Charlotte Hornets will host the Milwaukee Bucks at The AccordHotels Arena on January 24 2020. Fans can register their interest in tickets and gain access to presale information and more by visiting NBAEvents.com/ParisGame.