The NBA has played plenty of games outside of the United States and Canada, as the league has taken the floor for contests in both the United Kingdom and Mexico. In 2020, the NBA will add another country to its passport when a regular season game occurs at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris.
The league announced the news in a release on Thursday morning, revealing that the Charlotte Hornets and the Milwaukee Bucks will square off in front of the French crowd. It’s not the NBA’s first trip to France — a handful of preseason games have occurred in the country — but it is the first time a regular season contest will occur in the country.
“Our NBA Paris Game will showcase the continued global growth of basketball in one of the world’s greatest cities,” commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “With France leading a record number of players from Europe in the league, we look forward to bringing together basketball fans from across the continent for the NBA’s first regular-season game in Paris.”
Both teams make sense for inclusion in the game. The Bucks boast potential league MVP and Greece native Giannis Antetokounmpo, while the Hornets feature a pair of French players in Nicolas Batum and Tony Parker. The biggest draw, of course, is Parker, one of the greatest international players in league history and perhaps the best French basketball player ever. While he does have a non-guaranteed deal for next season, it would be really cool to see him take the floor when the league heads to Paris.