Bulls, Pistons will play NBA game in Paris in 2023

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Bulls, Pistons will play NBA game in Paris in 2023 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Bulls will return to Europe during the 2022-23 NBA season with a regular-season game in Paris against the Detroit Pistons, the team announced Tuesday.

The contest, which will constitute one of the Bulls' 41 road games next season, is scheduled for Jan. 19, 2023. It will mark the franchise's third ever game in Paris — and first in more than 25 years. Tickets will go on sale at a later date.

"It is a great honor to bring Chicago Bulls basketball back to Paris for The NBA Paris Game 2023 — an event that illustrates the league's commitment to amplifying the national and global impact of basketball," Bulls executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas said in a statement. "Having played several games in Paris during my career, I know how special this will be for our players, our organization, and our international fanbase. We look forward to representing Chicago overseas and are grateful for the opportunity to do so."

The last time the Bulls played in Europe, they ran through the 1997 McDonald's Championship, a tournament which was also held in Paris. Led by 27 points from Michael Jordan, they thrashed then-European champion Olympiakos in the final by a score of 104-78 on Oct. 18, 1997.

The top scorer for Olympiakos in that game? Karnišovas, with 19 points.

In more recent history, the Bulls have traveled for preseason games in London and Rio de Janeiro in 2009 and 2013, respectively, and a regular-season game in Mexico City in 2018.

This game comes in the context of the NBA branching back into international markets as COVID-19 restrictions loosen. It's the league's first game in Europe since 2020 and 12th in France since 1991.

During his annual All-Star weekend address, commissioner Adam Silver named international travel first among practices he looks forward to the league re-kindling as the world — hopefully — returns to something close to normal.

"We're very much a global league, and the opportunity to bring teams to other continents, to other places in the world is part of how we believe we grow the sport," Silver said in February. "Because we can have, I think, a dramatically larger impact by showing up in those cities and creating a lot of excitement around those teams."

While Silver, at the time, said he didn't foresee the NBA scheduling regular-season games in Europe for the 2022-23 season, the league is no doubt thrilled to do so. Especially given that, in the Bulls, one of its most iconic franchises is participating.

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