The Charlotte Hornets faced the media for the first time at NBA Paris on Wednesday. Coach James Borrego spoke on the occasion of taking part in an overseas regular-season game. Full of praise of France as a country and Paris as a city, Borrego expressed his delight to be a part of such a “special” event.
“I’ve been here before. But for a lot of the players it’s the first time they’ve been overseas and to be here in this wonderful country, great city, it’s just going to be special for all of us, and it is for our players.
“To have a regular-season game in Paris, France is extremely special, for all of us. It sounds like the fans, the country is extremely excited and we are as competitors. I know our players are. We’re thrilled to be here, honored to be here.”
Borrego, who upon signing for the Hornets in May 2018, was the first Latino head coach in the NBA’s 72-year history. His first full season as a Head Coach, period, was throughout the 2018/19 campaign, where he lead the team to a 39-43 finish.
So far this season, the Hornets are 15-30 and are currently riding a 7-game losing streak. However, they do find themselves just 4.5 games out of the playoff picture in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
Speaking at the Palais des sports Marcel-Cerdan arena on Wednesday, the 42-year-old discussed the growing popularity of the NBA overseas. Directing acclaim to the likes of Nicolas Batum, Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, and Rudy Gobert, for France’s love for the game.
“I give Tony Parker a lot of credit. Nic Batum. Boris Diaw. You add Gobert to the mix. But the popularity you feel here is strong. I felt it back in San Antonio, with Tony Parker, 10-15 years ago. And now to see where it is today is extremely special. I’m excited for Nic, I’m excited for Tony, to put the NBA on display here in France as appropriate.”
More than 150,000 fans declared their interest on the page of the NBA Paris Game event, which was a record for an NBA game in Europe.
The AccorHotels Arena will be the host of the Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets on Friday night, as both teams are set to battle it out in front of a sold-out crowd.