And suddenly he appeared, “God disguised as Michael Jordan” as would have said in his time the other star of American basketball of the 90s, Larry Bird. His majesty of the air (Airness), owner of the Charlotte Hornets, opposed to the Milwaukee Bucks, this Friday evening, loves France, Paris and PSG. He tells us why.
Why do you love France so much?
MICHAEL JORDAN. It was out of the question for me that my Charlotte Hornets team would miss this meeting in Paris. I campaigned for this match to be played here with my team. It was an opportunity for me to return to Paris in this city that I love indeed. I remember playing for the McDonald’s Open in this same room (Editor’s note: AccorHotels Arena, then POPB) more than 22 years ago. I have a good memory, a very good memory.
And why do you feel good in Paris?
Why ? It’s obvious. For good restaurants, the good time we can spend in this beautiful city. It is always an honor to be there and I really thank the people here for always receiving us so well.
Is France a basketball country according to you?
Of course. You already have the most beautiful ambassador of our sport with Tony Parker (Editor’s note: the Frenchman ended his career in Charlotte) which I take pleasure in reviewing during my stay in Paris. France, perhaps even more than other parts of the world, supplies very large players to the NBA. As a team owner, this is necessarily something that I am sensitive to.
Why did you choose to partner with PSG rather than another major European club?
This was done quite naturally, of course. Neymar is a big fan of the NBA and I really appreciate him. You know that I love this city and Paris is also a big fashion capital which is an asset when you want to show clothes. It is also a very important market. Everything comes together here so that my brand “Jordan Brand” flourishes and the relationship between Paris Saint-Germain and myself was ultimately very easy and very natural.
Do you feel at the origin of the world development of basketball?
First, it’s thanks to David Stern, the former big boss of the NBA ( Editor’s note: died on January 1st ). Without him, I would not be Michael Jordan, nor the basketball player nor the businessman. Then, yes, the world basketball revolution started with the Dream Team in Barcelona in 1992. I was there. So maybe I am a little bit there for something…