On est allés au « Axe Euro Tour » : l’élite des prospects français versus Bronny James et sa clique, récit d’une soirée un peu hors du temps

On est allés au « Axe Euro Tour » : l’élite des prospects français versus Bronny James et sa clique, récit d'une soirée un peu hors du temps

“All the happiness in the world is in the unexpected” defended Jean d’Ormesson. From that moment, happy who, like TrashTalk, went to the Maurice Thorez sports center in Nanterre to see Bronny James climb Alexis Ajinca’s cousin, all under the watchful eye of Tyronn Lue, Nicolas Batum and Hugo Ekitike. Can we sincerely dream of a better August 15?

It’s 7 pm We arrive in front of the Maurice Thorez sports center where, an hour before the start of hostilities, a queue of about twenty meters has already formed. The box office is only for information, the event will be sold out. Tonight, no trace of Luke Fischer, Benjamin Sene or even Chris Horton, but the presence, as unusual as it is exceptional, of players from the California Basket Club, including Bronny James, Bryce James, Justin Pippen and Ashton Hardaway. The names are not illusory, these four teenagers are. ” son of “ he arrived in Nanterre to take on the elite of French prospects, U16, U17 and U18 combined. the sports agency “sport sport”, number 1 importer of French basketball players in the NBA, has precisely taken advantage of the passage of these over-mediated phenomena –and therefore of the ESPN 2 cameras– to present their nuggets to the world of basketball. Basically, the 3,000 spectators did not necessarily come with the hope of a tricolor result, but to get an idea of ​​the true level of these four ” son of “ of which, despite countless featured videos who too often fail to count bullet losses, we didn’t know anything verifiable. So when they come to us, between one date in London and a second in Rome, nothing better than a good set of eyes and a front row seat to Maurice Thorez to get their own idea of ​​our child idols.

It’s 7:55 p.m. The national anthems resound in a sports center converted into a cauldron. By “boiler” Of course, we hear that there is great fervor there, but not only. It is 43 degrees in the room and each object that can serve as a fan -accreditation, flyers or even an empty can- provokes a duel to the death among his courtiers. Despite this heat, the sacred guests responded by present. Passing through Paris Tyronn Lue moved into the small VIP area, a few minutes before Victor Wembanyama don’t join him. Neither of them, his handshake travels the internet. we also see amara, the Admiral, newly appointed sports director of Paris Basketball, and Clarence Nadolny, the Frenchman from Texas Tech who is starting his senior year. The pleasantly unconventional announcer also announces the presence of Hugo Ekitikethe last signing of Paris Saint-Germain. Nicholas Batum got up very/too early in the morning, and will only arrive at half time. What was lost? Three times nothing, just a probable part of the story.

What was the probability of seeing Bronny James one day put his first support on a Leclerc logo before crushing Alexis Ajinca’s cousin? Shared by LeBron James and Stephen Curry, this action gave the event a good echo, which was not limited to the highlight of Bronny. In the first half, the French Bilal Coulibaly he literally brought the crowd up by intercepting a poor pass from his son James, before going on to bring a high-rise backpack. From there, the environment becomes a battlefield. From each confinement of a tricolor over Bronny, the howls of the gladiators in the stands arise. Home treatment par excellence. second to General Coulibaly, roman domon – announced post 3 but which we find brilliant in the creation – also splashes the encounter with its sharpness. When the blond BCM Gravelines is on the ground, the French offensive sequences gain in structure and the purity of his game is not lost on any observer present in the room. His shooting mechanic, while unsophisticated and throwing forward, hits the target with impressive speed. And then his nonchalance gives it such a unique flow. The impression that he was interrogated by SVT at 8 am the next day and that his only concern is to finish the game to go check on eukaryotic cell division. In short, this French team has charm but is dominated at halftime, 50 to 41, by the Californians dependent on Bronny (16 points). James’s other son, Bryce, who is only a 2007 (his brother is a 2005) has yet to step foot on the court.

At the restart, Ashton Hardaway gets a little out of his box in a record that is not easy to define. A bit chubby, Penny’s son evolves in position 2 and manages, in one or two pushes, to make a difference physically. But like the rest of Bronny’s teammates, he fails to record his good time. Little by little, the advance of the Cainris is diluted and the trio Bilal Coulibaly – Roman Domon maxi logue takes charge of the meeting. The latter, a resident of INSEP, boned the Californian racket while showing off his great versatility : Capable of picking up the ball, turning on the drive or finishing off an off-balance alley-oop, his combination of touch/power/agility probably caught the attention of the scouts present at Maurice Thorez. In particular, he allowed the French to inflict a 20-5 on the Cainris outside the locker room. This streak completely disarmed Bronny James, then the author of his fifth foul, and forced him to leave without scoring his performance at 25 points with a victory. It’s infuriating, but the 1m91 leader wiped out a lot of our a priori. He is a real basketball player, owner of an impressive aerial paddle, and capable of taking the Leader when his teammates are punished. One year after reaching the NCAA, giving 25 pearls to young people who already have a professional air is a harbinger of great maturity. What his brother does not yet have, whose entry in the second half has only caused reactions: “Oh, your glasses are too fancy”. Calm down: he is only 15 years old and around 2m, he will come when he comes.

We didn’t mention it above but the match ended with a tackle by Oscar Wembanyama (2007), Victor’s younger brother, a decisive passer for a final shot by Bilal Coulibaly. The latter was elected MVP of the meeting, despite our crush on roman domon. The two prospects leave at any cost, having won the hearts of the public. One scored 25 points with 8/10 shooting and intercepted 5 balls, the other scored “only” 12 units but stood out for his paramount importance in the Blues’ victory, 97-85. Melvin Ajinca and the potential of Tidjane Salaun, which measures 2m05 while evolving on the wing. The choletais call him the “French KD”, the others, more objective, hope that this 2005 sets the sights to start lighting up. For our part, we had fun in all aspects. The privilege of attending the first great performance of Bronny James in his career, together with this satisfied curiosity in front of the new French generations, made this second freelance of the “Euro Tour Axis” a great success. Before going there, the event smelled like an All-Star Game of Wish where two teams of still-ragged teens were going to trade concrete blocks against plexiglass. At last we had the right to a real show, albeit devoid of systems – not all the players were used to playing together – between two teams committed to their search for success, and pressured by the prestige and weight of some eyes in the gallery A good promotion for the French formation, there is more to invest in an air conditioner.

Enormous success that this passage of the Ax Tour in Nanterre. Pure talents that showed their teeth – Coulibaly, Domon, Logue, Salaun, Ajinca, Owona and company – before a team of ” son of “ that we hoped to measure. Furthermore, the presence of Victor Wembanyama, Tyronn Lue and Nico Batum added a bit of prestige to an event whose room for improvement lies solely in logistics. You fixed it and it’s perfect.


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