Nicolas Batum 3 août 2021

Nicolas Batum rants about the organization of Paris 2024


To 754 days of Paris 2024, the controversy surrounding the Olympic basketball tournament is swelling and the main parties concerned continue to express themselves through various channels. The latest? Nicolas Batum, captain of the Blues, returned – in the show The Big Mouths on RMC Sport – on the lack of clarity and organization of the organizing committee. Funny that.

To recontextualize the why and how there is no Bercy, it’s HERE!

On March 16, 2022, controversy set in: by decision of the Paris 2024 organizing committee – recorded several weeks ago – the group stage of the Olympic basketball tournament will take place in a Porte de Versailles hall. “How can we accept to see basketball, the most popular co-sport of the Olympic Games, being sent to the exhibition center? Ceiling too low, room unsuitable. @Jpsiutat [Président FFBB] we can’t let this pass!!! ». Like Evan Fournier, other executives are rising up. The Olympic Organizing Committee takes a small media tidal wave and is forced to abandon the idea of ​​the Parc Expo. A first essential battle won.

At the moment T, FIBA, the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and the International Olympic Committee are discussing to find a solution, the most serious option remaining the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d’Ascq. This time, it is handball – already affected on the spot – which would suffer. Looks like we’re playing Mole Hunt : you crush a mole with your mallet, another comes out a little further. In fact, there is just one room missing, and even if many will take the following proposal for a joke, why not take the Meilleraie? A bit of tourism for Cholet, you have the Puy du Fou not far away, and then the capacity of 5,000 places feels like 15,000. Well, last Saturday, Nico Batum took the microphone on the show The Big Mouths on RMC Sport. For the captain of the Blues, the problem is not this lack of consideration vis-à-vis basketball, reflected in the assignment to the Parc Expo. It further tickles this lack of rigor and seriousness in the organization of an Olympic tournament on French soil. Where we should be impeccable, ready on time, nothing is decided yet.

“I don’t care if we play in Lille, I played there at Euro 2015 already. It’s one of the biggest hits of my career. The problem is bigger than that. We do the Olympics in France, we are an extraordinary European capital. We ask ourselves this question twenty months before. Why are we asking? We’re fucking Paris. We have a great overall French team, we have the Olympic Games, we are the parent company, we are the descendants of Coubertin, and twenty months before we don’t know where we’re going to play volleyball, where we’re going to play handball, where we fuck the basketball […]

Team USA, they are the attraction of the Olympic Games, they are the stars, the gods of the Olympic Games. It’s a fact, it’s not to highlight basketball […] And all of that can affect the image of my sport and of Paris 2024. After that, we’re going to Los Angeles in 2028 and I know what we’re going to take as French people. I don’t want to be the laughingstock of the world. Because after Paris, it will be top level. – Nicholas Batum, for RMC Sports

“I don’t care that badminton… I’m glad they’re coming to Bercy. They need to be revived”. Hop, we didn’t express ourselves very well on it the last time, raising a question that many of our readers considered illegitimate: “Do badminton players really need an 8,000-seat hall? ». Through this link with badminton, Nico Batum offers us the opportunity to express our mea culpa. The idea was not to question the spectators’ interest in badminton, far from it. It’s just that we prefer to dedicate the most beautiful room to Team USA – “Gods of the Olympics” says Nico – rather than hearing fathers explain to their kids that the steering wheel is made of goose feathers. Where Batum is right, is that we should not even ask ourselves the question of a hierarchy between the different sports : divide and conquer… would this be wanted by the organizing committee? We’re clearly going into a spin, so it’s time for the paper to stop. All that to say that if Villeneuve D’Ascq was selected for the group stage, it wouldn’t be a problem as Pierre Mauroy has already shown himself up to the big events. And besides that’s cool, Evan agrees.

Come on, two years from the start of the Olympics, the situation should soon settle down. We are only waiting to be fixed in order to be able to sweep away this controversy and think only of competition in its purest definition.

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