Everywhere the Chicago Bulls go in Paris, excitement follows.
“I can’t understand what they’re talking about, but there seems to be huddles and crowds of people,” coach Billy Donovan told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The Bulls have been checking off every tourist’s list of landmarks during their first three days in Paris — a trip to the Eiffel Tower, plenty of wine and even a peek into Fashion Week. The team also participated in a basketball clinic for girls Wednesday in the Paris area.
“These kids don’t have a chance to see us as much in person, so it’s great for them and great for us,” center Nikola Vučević said. “It means a lot to them and we try to give back as much as we can, spend the time when we can.”
But by Wednesday, the team’s focus had shifted back to basketball. With a 20-24 record, the Bulls have plenty on the line when they face the Detroit Pistons on Thursday at Accor Arena.
In the midst of a competitive Eastern Conference full of jockeying for the last spot above the playoff line, every game counts for the Bulls — even if it’s taking place half a world away.
Pistons’ Jalen Duren loses his passport en route to Paris
The Pistons almost went down a man in Paris after 19-year-old center Jalen Duren misplaced his passport before the team took off from Detroit.
Duren was not with the Pistons when they arrived Monday as he wasn’t allowed on the team’s charter flight. The Athletic reported the Pistons were working to get Duren on a new flight Tuesday. He finally arrived and rejoined the team Wednesday, just in time for Thursday’s game.
Bulls collaborate with Off-White to honor Virgil Abloh
The Bulls arrived in Paris amid the hubbub of Fashion Week — which runs from Jan. 17-22 — and featured in a fitting collaboration between the team and Off-White, a fashion house created by revolutionary designer and Chicago native Virgil Abloh.
Abloh founded Off-White in 2013. After his death in 2021, his legacy has lived on with the connection between high fashion brands and streetwear styles.
With help from Abloh’s family, the brand partnered with the Bulls to honor his love of Chicago sports with a new series of Bulls designs for Off-White’s 10-year anniversary. The entire Bulls roster received new Off-White Bulls varsity jackets created by streetwear designer and Chicago native Don C.
Derrick Jones Jr. pops the question
Regardless of Thursday’s result, at least one Bulls player is coming home from Paris with a “W.”
Backup forward Derrick Jones Jr. took the opportunity during a dinner for players, coaches, families and friends to propose to his longtime girlfriend, Shakara. Jones received an immediate and emphatic “Hell, yeah.”