On January 19th the NBA hosted its second ever regular season game in Paris, France when the Chicago Bulls faced off against the Detroit Pistons in Accor Arena. 9450 Media had the opportunity to interview Brian Bosche, one of the photographers on hand to cover the unique events of that week including the game itself.
While the league anticipates more overseas matches in the future, international games are still infrequent in the NBA. What did it mean to you to go to Paris and be part of this event?
- It was special to be a part of the NBA Paris Game, and I wish they had more games in Europe! Growing up in the States in the 90’s, the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan playing in Paris has always stood out in my mind, so having the opportunity to watch the Bulls return to play the Pistons was surreal. It also brought together the entire European basketball community from media to creators to fans, which was amazing to see in person. There is so much passion for the game in Europe.
The NBA Paris game was the first time many of the players on the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons have visited France. How were the players responding to the event? Was there a difference in their energy?
- The players had a jam packed schedule, so I think that affected them more than being in France for the first time. They had practices, event appearances, photo shoots, and partner activities all week, so it definitely seemed like it was a unique experience for them outside the normal regular season schedule. From what I saw of them at the practices, they looked a little surprised at how many people in European media were there to cover the event and speak with them. It was like the entire community was converging in Paris for this one chance at covering the NBA in Europe.
This was the first regular season NBA game held in Paris since 2020, and commissioner Adam Silver has shown an interest in expanding to more European markets. Are there any unique challenges that come with covering overseas event games?
- One of the major challenges of covering the NBA in Europe is the time difference, and how difficult it is to watch live games. So because there are so few games played in Europe, there is an incredible amount of interest from the media. It makes it challenging to have more intimate conversations with players and staff because there is so much competition from so many different media outlets.
The Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons were in Paris a couple days before their faceoff to see the sights, absorb the culture, and lead groups of local children in team-building basketball exercises through NBA Cares. What was the highlight of the trip for you?
- The highlight of my trip was seeing the European basketball community come together for the week leading up to the game itself. From Wilson Basketball and Roland Garros event collaborations to NBA Top Shot meetups, it was amazing to see all of the different activations and events in Paris. I love when events like this bring everyone together.
Plenty of stars and celebrities showed out for this game. Did you notice a different atmosphere amongst the players and crowd compared to other regular season games?
- This game was definitely more of a scene that a typical regular season game. Some of the biggest celebrities and athletes in Europe showed up for the game, and gave it a lot more hype than a typical Thursday night in Chicago or Detroit. There were also a lot of NBA legends in attendance, so you could see the players trying to make an impression.
We want to thank Brian for his time and for allowing us the opportunity to learn more about his work. You can find more of Brian’s work here -
Contributor: Josh Laufer @joshlaufer
Editor: Josh Bhagratie @jshyb