NBA says Hornets, Bucks will play in Paris in 2020

Charlotte Hornets forward Nicolas Batum (5) dunks against Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, March 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Charlotte Hornets guard Tony Parker (9) goes to the basket against Washington Wizards forward Jabari Parker, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 15, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

PARIS — The NBA is going to play a regular-season game in Paris for the first time next year, with the league announcing Thursday that Charlotte and Milwaukee are headed there.

The game will be on Jan. 24. Paris has played host to 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. And 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.

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.

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