On the occasion of the opening, on the morning of July 12, of the ticket office for the prestigious match, scheduled under the roof of the Philippe-Chatrier court at Roland-Garros, on October 16, and at the time of taking stock of the four years who have given themselves since he took charge of the destiny of Paris Basketball, the American president of the capital club, David Kahn, explained the decisive points of the next season.
He was alone, facing a dozen journalists, in the hall of the cultural center of Les Halles, with, in the background, a huge photo of the Philippe-Chatrier court, which will host a Betclic championship match on October 16. Elite. It is, we feel it, an exceptional event which is close to his heart, in his desire to make a reputation, to mark a territory and the event organization capacity of his club. But David Kahn, rather generally satisfied with the progress of Paris Basketball, which will play the Eurocup on a very controversial invitation (15th in the championship last year) also knows that he has few certainties and visibility, in immediately, particularly concerning the workforce for next season. Overview with the Parisian boss.
The match at Roland-Garros:
“We are proud of this historic basketball match at Roland-Garros. We opened the ticket office to the public this morning (Tuesday July 12), and we want to practice an attractive pricing policy. The idea is to allow a family audience to access this kind of event. We are really very happy that Roland-Garros had the idea of putting a roof on this court, which allowed them to explore other non-tennis event avenues. As soon as we knew that, we approached them. Roland-Garros is an iconic brand all over the world, they have always been there. We, as Americans, must innovate. We want to create an event, on an iconic ground around the basket. Offer more than a basket match. And if this kind of event can be used to push the impact of the basket, in Paris and in France, so much the better. The adversary? We can tell you that it will be a strong opponent, and also that it will not be ASVEL. »
The Euro Cup:
“It has been said for four years that our club is progressing “step by step”. We never had the will to skip the stages, we remain cautious. We know that we need our Arena to overcome a milestone, like the Eurocup, which will also help us move forward. I think we are ready for the Eurocup, as we are ready to enter our Arena. I don’t think the Euroleague chose us based on what we did last season, but they chose us for what we can show next season. This is an opportunity that has nothing to do with what we were last year. Now, we must do everything to rise to this very serious challenge. We have to perform. »
“It’s complicated at the moment. We have eight players under contract but we are a little “frozen” by the situation of our players who are currently trying their luck in the NBA. So we are very dependent on what Juhann will do (Begarin, currently with the Boston Celtics) and Ishmael (Kamagate, who is trying his luck with the Denver Nuggets). Of course, I wish they would reject, but I also wish they could sign there. All our recruitment is based on their presence, or not, with the team. We cannot sign players in their position, without knowing whether they will return or not. It wouldn’t be fair to anyone. We have to move very carefully on recruitment this summer. And we have to wait for the end of the Summer League to see more clearly, and find solutions. As for the coach? (Jean-Christophe Prat, still under contract) I don’t want to isolate anyone. All of us were a little below what we could do. I don’t want to name anyone, just consider that each of us has to be better next year. »
The Arena Porte de la Chapelle:
“If you go by car, Porte de la Chapelle, you will see this Arena which is being built, and which should be open in fifteen months. And, I am happy that, following a deal with the town hall, we obtained to be exclusively the only resident club there for a ten-year lease. In Carpentier, we had created something, a spirit, a community, and we would have to be careful to take all that with us, to the North, to the Arena. But in Carpentier, we were also very limited in terms of generating the necessary revenue: not enough seats, VIP seats, reception areas… We really need this Arena. I am proud of what we have achieved in these four years, but the club is still a small child, we are still very, very young. With this Arena, we will be able to have more ambitions. And after walking, we can learn to run. »
Photography: David Kahn (Thomas Savoja)