Nicolas Batum on playing NBA game in Paris: “It’s an emotional moment in my career”

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 22: Nicolas Batum #5 of the Charlotte Hornets talks to the media during practice and media availability as part of NBA Paris Games 2020 on January 22, 2020 in Paris, France at Palais des sports Marcel-Cerdan. 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 2020 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Charlotte Hornets star Nicolas Batum has spoken to media during the team’s first practice session in Paris today ahead of the NBA Paris Game 2020, which will see the Hornets take on the Milwaukee Bucks at the AccorHotels Arena on January 24.

On playing a regular season game in Paris

Nicolas Batum: “It’s an emotional moment in my career. As a non-American player to be able to play a NBA game in your own country, it’s very special. It’s true that Tony [Parker] and Rony [Turiaff] have already lived that kind of game, but this one is an official game. It’s the first time it happens in France. I’m particularly proud to be the first one to play a game like this one.” 

On what it means for his teammates to play in Paris

Nicolas Batum: “They are happy to be here for sure. We were at the Eiffel Tower earlier; they were all taking pictures. They are also very excited to discover Paris. They ask a lot of questions. It’s nice to come here and to show them something new.” 

On Giannis Antetokounmpo

Nicolas Batum: “For his height, he is a unique player. What he is achieving is unbelievable. He has revolutionized the game a bit in his own way. He is efficient on the court, he is a pure basketball player. Furthermore, he is improving his shooting, so he is going to become an unstoppable machine. So far, he is this year’s MVP for me.”

On how to prepare for a game against the Milwaukee Bucks

Nicolas Batum: “We scout them. We prepare it like a “normal” game. It remains a regular season game. The question is: how to stop Giannis? It has been two years that no one has an answer. It will be our job to make sure he doesn’t have a big night.”

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