The NBA Goes to Paris: Bulls vs. Pistons Matchup

According to a recent announcement, the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons will play a regular season game in Paris on Jan. 19, 2023. This game marks an exciting return to the international stage for the NBA and will delight fans of both franchises. The NBA has a long history of playing games in Paris. In fact, the first NBA game ever played in Europe was held in Paris in 1990. Since then, the league has returned to Paris several times for regular season games, as well as for exhibition games and other events. The most recent NBA game in Paris was held in 2020, when the Charlotte Hornets faced off against the Milwaukee Bucks. If you’re as excited as we are for this Bulls vs. Pistons matchup, learn more about what you can expect when the big day arrives.

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Bulls vs. Pistons in Paris

Regular season game on January 19, 2023 at the Accor Arena

The NBA recently announced that it will return to the international scene in the 2022-2023 season with a Jan. 19 game between the Bulls and the Pistons. The game will take place in the Accor Arena in Paris, an iconic venue for concerts and sporting events. These two teams are historic rivals with outstanding records, and the game will be a way for the league to cater to its fans abroad.

Why Now?

As the world’s premier basketball league, the NBA has a large fan base outside the United States. As a result, it has a long history of hosting international games. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league stopped scheduling international competitions, and this game will be the first since 2020. The loosening of international travel restrictions made the game possible, and the event will surely draw a large crowd from both the United States and Europe.

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Why These Teams?

The Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons are two of the most iconic teams in the NBA and have a longtime rivalry dating back to the late 1980s. Both teams play in the Eastern Conference and are close physical neighbors. Much of the rivalry between the two teams results from the historic rivalry between the teams’ hometowns. The Bulls are six-time NBA champions, and the Pistons have earned that title three times.

The rivalry began in earnest during the 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals. At that time, rising star Michael Jordan played for Chicago and posed a significant challenge to the Pistons, a dominant force in the league. While the Pistons left with the conference title, Jordan had achieved some spectacular performances against the Pistons’ defense. This failure angered some of the Pistons’ players and began a contentious feud.

The two teams met each year in the conference finals for the next four years, intensifying their dislike of each other. The powerful Pistons franchise won each year until 1991 when the Bulls finally took the title. In the following years, the Bulls waxed as the Pistons began to decline. The rivalry lessened over the next few years; the teams didn’t face off in the finals until 2007 when they met again in postseason play. This time, the Pistons won in the semifinals.

Although it’s gone through many ups and downs, the Pistons-Bulls rivalry still stirs feelings on both sides. For the Bulls, the Jan. 19 game will be their third appearance in the City of Lights, while the Pistons will be making their first appearance. The game is sure to hearken back to the history between the two teams and will be an exciting event for fans worldwide.

The NBA Abroad

The NBA has a long history of hosting games outside the United States. Although it primarily serves an American market, the league has a sizeable international fan base from Mexico to China. These matches are called global games and may feature either NBA teams or matchups between American teams and international opponents.

The first official international game took place in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1978 between the Washington Bullets and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Like the other early games, it was an exhibition match. Regular season games only began taking place outside the United States beginning in 1990, when the Phoenix Suns played the Utah Jazz in Tokyo, Japan. Europe only began hosting games between NBA teams in 1993. That year, the Atlanta Hawks and the Orlando Magic played in London.

These exhibition matches later evolved into the NBA Europe Live Tour with games in France, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Germany, and other countries. Over the years, Paris has hosted 12 games, although the first regular season game occurred on Jan. 24, 2020, almost two years exactly before this season’s game begins. The 2023 match will mark the NBA’s return to Europe, and the league will host other international competitions in Mexico and Japan.

Interest in basketball has been growing in France. Some talented players have traveled to the United States to play in the NBA. During the 2021-2022 season, 12 French players secured spots on the opening night starting rosters. The French Basketball Federation has also done much to promote the sport in the country, and NBA games are regular attractions on French television.

Team Rosters

The Pistons and the Bulls are bringing talented rosters into the 2022-2023 season, featuring a mix of veterans and up-and-comers. Although we won’t know the exact makeup of the starting squads for a while, these are the current rosters for each team:

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Chicago Bulls

The team’s current leader in points is small forward DeMar DeRozan, averaging 26.6 points per game. He also leads in assists with an average of 4.9 per game. Nikola Vucevic leads in rebounds with an average of 10.5 per game.

  • Alex Caruso: number 6, shooting guard.
  • Andre Drummond: number 3, center.
  • Ayo Dosunmu: number 12, shooting guard.
  • Coby White: number 0, point guard.
  • Dalen Terry: number 25, forward.
  • DeMar DeRozan: number 11, small forward.
  • Derrick Jones Jr.: Number 5, small forward.
  • Goran Dragić: number 7, point guard.
  • Javonte Green: number 24, small forward.
  • Kostas Antetokounmpo: number 37, forward.
  • Lonzo Ball: number 2, point guard.
  • Malcolm Hill: number 14, forward.
  • Marko Simonović: number 19, center.
  • Nikola Vucevic: number 9, center.
  • Patrick Williams: number 44, power forward.
  • Tony Bradley: number 13, center.
  • Zach LaVine: number 8, shooting guard.

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Detroit Pistons

The Pistons’ season leader in points is Bojan Bogdanović, averaging 21 points per game. Keep your eyes on center Jalen Duren, who leads the team in rebounds with an average of 8.5 per game. The team’s leader in assists is point guard Cade Cunningham with an average of 6.0 per game.

  • Alec Burks: number 5, shooting guard.
  • Bojan Bogdanović: number 44, small forward.
  • Braxton Key: number 8, guard.
  • Buddy Boeheim: number 27, guard.
  • Cade Cunningham: number 2, point guard.
  • Cory Joseph: number 18, point guard.
  • Hamidou Diallo: Number 6, shooting guard.
  • Isaiah Livers: number 12, power forward.
  • Isaiah Stewart: number 28, center.
  • Jaden Ivey: number 23, point guard.
  • Jalen Duren: number 0, center.
  • Kevin Knox II: number 20, small forward.
  • Killian Hayes: number 7, point guard.
  • Marvin Bagley III: number 35, power forward.
  • Nerlens Noel: number 3, center.
  • Rodney McGruder: number 17 guard.
  • Saddiq Bey: number 41, small forward.

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Team Competition

Neither the Bulls nor the Pistons are having their best seasons, although bright spots exist for both teams. The teams are close in the division rankings, with the Bulls just ahead of the Pistons. As a result, NBA analysts expect the Bulls to win the Jan. 19 game. Explore this brief overview of each team’s record thus far:

Chicago Bulls

Review the results of the team’s last several games:

  • Dec. 2, 2022: Loss to Golden State Warriors, 119-111.
  • Dec. 4, 2022: Loss to Sacramento Kings, 110-101.
  • Dec. 7, 2022: Win vs. Washington Wizards, 115-111.
  • Dec. 10, 2022: Win vs. Dallas Mavericks, 144-115.
  • Dec. 11, 2022: Loss to Atlanta Hawks, 123-122 in overtime.
  • Dec. 14, 2022: Loss to New York Nicks, 128-120.
  • Dec. 16, 2022: Loss to New York Nicks, 114-91.
  • Dec. 18, 2022: Loss to Minnesota Timberwolves, 150-126.
  • Dec. 20, 2022: Win vs. Miami Heat, 113-103.
  • Dec. 21, 2022: Win vs. Atlanta Hawks, 110-108.
  • Dec. 23, 2022: Win vs. New York Knicks, 118-117.
  • Dec. 26, 2022: Loss to Houston Rockets, 133-118.
  • Dec. 28, 2022: Win vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 119-113.
  • Dec. 30, 2022: Win vs. Detroit Pistons, 132-118.
  • Dec. 31, 2022: Loss to Cleveland Cavaliers, 103-102.
  • Jan. 2, 2023: Loss to Cleveland Cavaliers, 145-134.
  • Jan. 4, 2023: Win vs. Brooklyn Nets, 121-112.

Detroit Pistons

Review the results of the team’s last several games:

  • Dec. 4, 2022: Loss vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 122-112.
  • Dec. 6, 2022: Win vs. Miami Heat, 116-96.
  • Dec. 7, 2022: Loss to New Orleans Pelicans, 104-98.
  • Dec. 9, 2022: Loss to Memphis Grizzlies, 114-103.
  • Dec. 11, 2022: Loss to Los Angeles Lakers, 124-117.
  • Dec. 14, 2022: Win vs. Charlotte Hornets, 141-134.
  • Dec. 16, 2022: Loss to Sacramento Kings, 122-113.
  • Dec. 18, 2022: Loss to Brooklyn Nets, 124-121.
  • Dec. 20, 2022: Loss to Utah Jazz, 126-111.
  • Dec. 21, 2022: Loss to Philadelphia 76ers, 113-93.
  • Dec. 23, 2022: Loss to Atlanta Hawks, 130-105.
  • Dec. 26, 2022: Loss to LA Clippers, 142-131.
  • Dec. 28, 2022: Win vs. Orlando Magic, 121-101.
  • Dec. 30, 2022: Loss to Chicago Bulls, 132-118.
  • Dec. 31, 2022: Win vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 116-104.
  • Jan. 2, 2023: Loss to Portland Trail Blazers, 135-106.
  • Jan. 4, 2023: Win vs. Golden State Warriors, 122-119.

Are You Going to Paris?

The Jan. 19 game will be an exciting return to Europe for the NBA. It’s sure to be a good game, and we can’t wait to see the final results. If you’re interested in taking a Parisian vacation to see the game, visit the NBA website or the Accor Arena website. If you purchase experience packages through the NBA, you can choose to gain access to exclusive meet and greets and events throughout the city, along with special seats and amenities during the game.

Before you head to France, it’s essential to have the right swag to show your support for your team. Whether you’re a hardcore Chicago Bulls fan or a diehard for the Detroit Pistons, Fanatics has all the officially licensed merchandise you need to prepare for game day. This gear includes jerseys for all your favorite players, outerwear like hoodies and beanies, home decor, accessories, and tailgate supplies.



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