During his recent trip to Europe with the Jordan Brand, two-time Dime cover guy Chris Paul agreed to check in with a diary of his summer travels. First stop London, next stop Paris. Here’s the second edition:
We left London for Paris and it’s my first time in the City of Lights! The city is beautiful, the architecture amazing and I swear it seemed like we could see the iconic Eiffel Tower everywhere we went. And who knew the Eiffel Tower sparkled at night like diamonds in the sky – every hour on the hour. Stunning.
We are here for Quai 54 – sponsored by Jordan Brand – its the biggest streetball tournament in the world. Teams from all around Europe and across the globe came together to battle it out on the court at Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Basketball is alive and well in Europe, but this streetball event takes on a whole new meaning for the sport. Combine the game with music – mostly hip hop, of course – pounding on the speakers non-stop, crowd participation, three-point and dunk contests, dance contests, and full concerts (American and French artists) all in between games and halftime, and it’s quite a show. Well, over 3,000 people came out each day in the hot Paris sun to enjoy the action packed festivities.
Aside from talking to French TV and other French media at the tournament, I got a chance to judge the slam dunk contest and three-point shoot out. There’s also this dude on YouTube, Kadour Ziani, who’s got the crazy kick dunk. If you think I’m lying look it up! These guys were dunking over rows of people, twists and flips like you haven’t seen.
And as for the concerts, what can you say about the infamous hip hop legend MC Lyte? She was great as usual. She DJ’d and performed at one of my shoe launches in New Orleans as well as a few other events, so I always see nothing but the best from her. Performing the closing night concert was none other than rapper Fat Joe. The crowd exploded when he hit the stage! Wow, he had the fans up on their feet the entire time. Hit after hit! It’s amazing to go to a country where English is not the first language but they know all the words to his songs. That bugs me out… in a good way of course. Both Lyte and Joe are friends of the Brand making a Jordan event special each and every time.
Before all this excitement got started, it was all about the shoes! I went to an area in Paris called Les Halles where Foot Locker’s House of Hoops is and media and influencers were invited to see the Quai 54 colorway of the Jordan CP3 Tribute shoe and we also spoke about the upcoming Jordan CP3.IV. It’s funny, the media here are intrigued by my relationship with TP (Tony Parker) naturally because France is his home. I met TP early on while I was in college and he has been a mentor of sorts to me. We are great rivals and great friends at the same time, so it’s pretty special to be in his city.
All in all, this was a great trip and I look forward to returning someday soon.
Follow Chris on Twitter at @Oneandonlycp3.
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