Golden Era of French Basketball

Golden Era of French Basketball: The media conference preceding the NBA Paris Game 2024 revealed Commissioner Adam Silver’s positive outlook for French NBA and basketball enthusiasts. Here are the key points:

The matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Brooklyn Nets marked a regular-season contest, tracing its roots back to the league’s inaugural presence in France during the preseason 30 years ago. Silver noted the significant increase in French players, from none back then to 14 now.

Victor Wembanyama, the top pick in the previous June’s Draft and a standout with the San Antonio Spurs, is a leading contender for the Kia Rookie of the Year award.

Notably, former Spurs guard Tony Parker, a highly decorated French player, engaged in a brief chat with Silver at a recent reception.

The commissioner highlighted the presence of three French prospects – Alexandre Sarr, Zacharie Risacher, and Tidjane Salaun – listed among the top six projected picks in the new ESPN.com 2024 mock draft. Additionally, with the Paris Olympics just six months away, Silver declared this as a “golden era of French basketball.”

Silver underscored the increasing global growth of the NBA, with nearly 30% of league rosters now comprised of international players. He credited former Commissioner David Stern for initiating the international movement.

The commissioner acknowledged the evolving acceptance of overseas games by NBA teams, contrasting it with the past resistance due to disruptions in routines and coaches’ prep work. Silver mentioned the growing enthusiasm among teams for international engagements.

In response to other topics:

Silver confirmed the return of the In-Season Tournament next year, with potential tweaks in format or tie-breakers. He hinted at the possibility of staging semifinal and championship games in Europe or elsewhere.

No updates were provided on the ongoing talks with domestic TV partners, with existing contracts running through the 2024-25 season.

Silver expressed optimism about Golden State forward Draymond Green’s return from suspension and praised Green for viewing his time away from the court productively.

When asked about the best and worst moments of his tenure nearing its 10th anniversary, Silver cited the NBA’s focus on mental health, emphasizing the league’s role in destigmatizing related issues and fostering open conversations.

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