Transatlantic Forum Dinner with David Kahn, co-owner and CEO of Paris Basketball

March 6, 2024

On March 6th, the French-American Foundation—United States hosted its second Transatlantic Forum dinner at Vin-sur-Vingt Midtown, featuring David Kahn, CEO and Co-Owner of Paris Basketball, with the evening moderated by Forum founding member Remy Raisner. Edward C. Wallace, Chairman of the Board for the French-American Foundation—United States, joined the dinner.

The night kicked off with introductory remarks from Foundation President Caroline Naralasetty, followed by Remy presenting our esteemed speaker. Remy’s acquaintance with David goes back to his days playing for Paris-St. Germain, the sole professional sports team in Paris at the time. Since then, Paris’s sports scene has evolved significantly, with David playing a pivotal role by establishing Paris Basketball in 2018 after his extensive tenure in the NBA. Motivated by the vibrant European basketball culture and the evident gap in the Parisian basketball scene, David aimed to create a platform for local players and enthusiasts, culminating in the formation of Paris Basketball. Celebrating its 5th anniversary this year, the team recently marked the inauguration of the Port-de-la-Chapelle arena with a victorious match against St. Quentin. Paris Basketball’s rapid ascent to the finals of the EuroCup underscores the team’s remarkable journey in under a decade.

David candidly shared the challenges faced in establishing Paris Basketball as a serious business venture amidst a growing French interest in basketball. With France now boasting the highest number of NBA players outside North America, Paris Basketball seeks to cater to an underserved segment of the French populace.

Highlighting the differences between the sports landscapes in the US and France, David noted the unique position of the NBA as both a collection of teams and a brand. Unlike the US, with its numerous large cities capable of supporting multiple sports teams, France’s varied economic landscape across towns presents a challenge in uniformly advancing the French basketball league. Drawing inspiration from the NBA model, David has adapted these strategies to resonate with European sensibilities, envisioning Paris Basketball as a brand that transcends the court, akin to what Paris Saint-Germain has achieved in soccer. Winning the EuroCup would be a significant milestone towards this vision.

Our heartfelt thanks to David and Remy for an enlightening discussion, and to the Vin sur Vingt team and Chairman Edward C. Wallace for their participation.