Projected No. 1 draft pick Victor Wembanyama is the star of the show in NBA Paris as he watches the Pistons-Bulls clash on the court…with Pharrell Williams, Lakers legend Magic Johnson and the stars of F1 Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly also present.
Projected No. 1 draft pick Victor Wembanyama led a star-studded group of celebrities onto the court at the NBA’s annual trip to Paris.
French phenom Wembanyama is the unanimous projection to become No. 1 in the 2023 draft and saw the Detroit Pistons early, one of the teams that has some of the best lottery odds to land it.
Wembanyama was mobbed for photos before kickoff, but he wasn’t alone, as Lakers icon Magic Johnson and singer Pharrell Williams also took their courtside seats.
Formula One trio Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon attended the Pistons’ showdown with the Chicago Bulls, with rapper Lil Baby and TikTok star Khaby Lame among other familiar faces.
But no one proved quite as popular as the 7-foot-4 Wembanyama, and a queue formed for a photo with the 19-year-old.
French NBA legend Tony Parker, a four-time NBA champion, addressed the crowd along with Pistons star Killian Hayes and Bulls center Nikola Vucevic before the game.
Pistons rookie Jalen Duren made sure not to miss the annual European trip, even though it wasn’t easy for the center.
Duren was conspicuously absent from a photo taken of the Detroit team in front of the Eiffel Tower earlier this week, and James L. Edwards III of the Athletic reported that he was, in fact, stuck in the US after losing his passport.
Detroit bosses worked around the clock to get him to France in time for Thursday’s matchup with the Bulls, which took place at Accor Arena.
Ultimately, he started on the bench after missing several games with an ankle problem that has yet to be fully resolved.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver gave French NBA fans a boost by revealing that the league will return to Paris once again in 2024.
Paris took over the responsibility of hosting the NBA Europe game from London on XXXX and following talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, Silver expects to return within 12 months.
“We told (Emmanuel Macron) yesterday that, apart from the Olympic Games (Paris 2024), we will most likely return to Paris next year for a regular league game,” Silver said.