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David Kahn, president of Paris Basketball: "We will be ready to play in the first division"


The American president of Paris Basketball relishes the rise of his club in elite but is aware of the workload that awaits him.

He recognizes it himself.

David Kahn did not expect to see Paris Basketball land its elite ticket this season.

But a succession of favorable results finally allowed the club to hook the right car in extremis.

Created from the ashes of Hyères Toulon, whose sporting rights he bought in the summer of 2018, the capital club will play next season in the national first division.

A championship that will no longer be called Jeep Elite but should bear the name BetClic, the sports betting company.

While he multiplies the meetings, as at the Hotel de Ville in Paris on Monday, the American president of the club took the time to answer our questions.

How do you feel a few hours after your club rose to Elite?


I am just happy.

It was a really strange, stressful week.

Tuesday before our match against Poitiers (

Editor's note: victory 107-80

), I thought that our chances of going up were only one in 25. We had prepared to go back to Pro B to dominate this championship and climb to the top. end of the season.

But on Tuesday we won and the three teams that were to lose… lost.

So I said to myself that our chances were increasing a bit.

But after the results of Friday I told myself that we had a one in two chance until the favorable result on Sunday (

Editor's note:

defeat of Blois to Nancy


It all happened very quickly.

It seems unreal.

We don't realize yet.

The club has only existed for three years, does this rise not happen too soon?

It was very fast, yes.

The first season we started on July 12 without a coach or player.

We had nothing.

Our only objective was to stay in Pro B. The second season, only the winner of the playoffs had to go up but the Covid-19 stopped everything.

Because of the sanitary situation we had no visibility over the season.

When we knew that two teams were going to go up, we recruited Ryan Boatright in February.

It's the first time that we really played the climb… And we went up.

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Is the club structured enough to evolve into a Jeep Elite?

The budget will increase but I can't tell you more (

He was this season a little over 3.3 million euros, the 3rd in the division


The Covid-19 has changed the situation.

For a year, we no longer have a ticket office.

We will know more by July 1.

Let's not forget that we were far from thinking of the climb a week ago.

But I promise you that we will be ready to play in the first division.

The Parisian context is particular with an immense offer of shows.

To exist and attract the public, a club must put on a show and have known names ...

It's true, we know it, but we are moving step by step.

All of this will happen but be patient.

As a first step, I hope that more than half of the team this season will be there when it resumes.

Building a team for the Pro B or the elite is not the same thing.

We will discuss with the players.

Ryan Boatright, Amara Sy, Milan Barbitch are under contract for example.

We will continue to play young French people.

Is this possible in an Elite Jeep?

Of course.

Our fans like to see and identify with French players.

We have to keep this link.

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Are you going to continue playing at the Halle Carpentier in the 13th?

We think about things, we have to offer news to the public, but we only know since yesterday (Sunday) that we will be in a Jeep Elite.

Our room can accommodate 2,400 people.

We also talk with the officials of the Accor Arena to play one, two or three games.

But you have to find the right financial deal.

Last year, in January, just before the arrival of Covid-19, we managed to bring 5,000 people for a Pro B match. It was a great experience.

Where are the works on Arena 2 located at Porte de la Chapelle?

They did not stop during the period that we have just experienced.

Next month there will be the first shovels and there will be an official ceremony in September.

Everything is progressing well.

We will be in this new arena in two years.

We are very excited.

The basketball situation in France with the lack of TV rights, the start of naming or the players who threaten not to play in the Jeep Elite playoffs worry you for the development of basketball in France?

I am never worried but vigilant.

I invest myself so that the League adapts and changes certain things.

The NBA, which is the most powerful league, is not afraid to evolve.

They have established the principle of play-offs before the playoffs, they are considering offering a mid-season tournament, they have launched a League in Africa.

A league like the LNB must also question itself in order to evolve.

I will be for an evolution of the championships with 3 different zones, one of which would only concern the big cities.

Are you going to request an invitation to the Euroleague?

Not for next year, that would not be wise. We will have a lot of work this summer and we will not be able to prepare reasonably for this event. We're going to focus on the Elite Jeep.

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2021-06-17

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