We grant you, we are currently not in the most exhilarating period of the season. In the hearts of NBA fans, the month of August often rhymes with boredom. And for good reason, the Playoffs end in June, the Free Agency is in full swing in July and the first matches return in September. August ? It’s the month of selfies on a yacht, cocktails on private beaches and parties in screened-in villas. Not really the kind of activity that ordinary mortals can identify with. So why not take advantage of these quieter few weeks to take stock of the most popular destinations for our favorite players when they go on vacation? Direction the overseas territories of France, the embodiment of paradise for many of us.
Before starting this paper, we offer you a small geographical point with our expert in the field, Sebastiano Del Mundo. It will shed light on who is what in the various acronyms used officially. It is true that when one does not know too much about it, it is difficult to differentiate DROM, TOM, COM. By the way, it must be funny to be called Tom in a TOM (the editor resigned after this valve).
SDM: Hello everyone! So, the overseas territories of France are divided into different categories depending on their status. Thus, the Overseas Departments and Regions are five in number: Guadeloupe, Guyana, Mayotte, Martinique, Réunion. There are also Overseas Collectivities, where the administrative statutes are particular. They are also five: Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Saint-Barthélémy, Saint-Martin, Wallis-et-Futuna, French Polynesia. New Caledonia does not fit into these categories due to its autonomy and special statutes. There are only the TOMs left, namely the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, which include islands often dedicated to science and the military. In any case, we doubt that an NBA player wanted to spend two weeks on the Kerguelen archipelago. By the way, you have my cousin Sebastiano Drafto’s cuckoo clock.
Thank you for these clarifications and the kiss to the couz’, we can continue now. Where do we start… Come on, the Indian Ocean? We left for the two Vanilla Islands flying the French flag, namely The meeting and Mayotte. For the first mentioned, let’s say that the French NBAers are regulars. Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and Nicolas Batum have notably sponsored sporting events on site, and therefore been able to spend a few days there during the off-season. Moreover, Batman was full of praise for the landscapes of the island that he was able to discover during a helicopter flight.
“I did Hawaii by helicopter, Reunion is much more impressive. I literally stood up in the cabin when we arrived above Mafate! »
– Nicholas Batum.
At the same time, aim a little for the wonders of the island. Between the two volcanoes, the very impressive Cirque de Mafate and the turquoise water beaches, everyone will find what they are looking for. These are just a few of the facets of the intense island, but that is more than enough for us to understand that it is not an unpleasant vacation destination. It’s the same for Mayotte, visited several times by some NBA players. The islet of Saziley is a must, as are the playgrounds on the main island, animated by enthusiasts who breathe the orange ball… all with Mahoran sauce. A unique blend, just must see if you want to test the leather a bit during the holidays.
Are we already leaving the Indian Ocean? We felt so good there, though. No reason to worry, the next destination is just as dreamy since we are heading to the West Indies. Guadeloupe is a land of basketball, since it is in the heart of 971 that Rudy Gobert, Mickael Gelabale and Rodrigue Beaubois draw their origins. Roudi even went there for a few days last May, the ideal way to recharge his batteries before heading for the green and cold plains of Minnesota. Here too, volcano enthusiasts will have the right to dream since La Soufrière offers itself to them in the heart of the island. For the Gob’ on the other hand, the stay took place more on the side of the white sand beaches, the legs in sea water rotating at an average of 28 degrees. Yeah, we have an Air France tab open next door because it could quickly go on a whim.
No time to stop any longer, we take the first boat in Pointe-à-Pitre, direction Saint-Pierre in Martinique. The memories full of the head of course, but not that of the moment when we were posterized by Rudy, do not say it. In the boat, lots of brochures catch our eye. One of them talks about sports on the island. Barely opened, it reminds us with pride that Martinique is also a territory that vibrates for basketball. The best example? The big face on the leaflet page. It is familiar, since it is that of Ronny Turiaf. The native of Fort-de-France is also quite good at bringing colleagues back to have a good time at home. Among them ? Tony Parker of course. If he came as part of a basketball camp organized by Ronny, that won’t prevent him from having a good time between distilleries and visits to unmissable places. Without forgetting the idleness eh, must not mess around. Small quick passage through Saint-Barthélémy where we remind you, the driving license with points does not exist. This little useful information out, you may be able to meet Joakim Noah there. The person concerned had come to Saint-Barth for a few days several years ago. With friends of course, the crazier we are, the merrier.
Come on, our boat is already leaving. We take the Panama Canal, and here we are in the Pacific. The road is long towards the French Polynesia, but this place is so magical that we gladly accept to take our time. If until now, the islands presented “only” enjoyed great popularity with French NBAers, some of the international players of the Great League are in love with some of the Polynesian archipelagos. First ? George Hill, who traveled to Tahiti to take advantage of the heavenly scenery and sponsor a basketball tournament. In more social media style, brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball appear on the side of Bora Bora, in the heart of the Leeward Islands.
They were lucky enough to be able to take a photo. Which is not the case for everyone. Why do we say that? Well, because an Evan Fournier, probably better at basketball than at piloting a drone, admitted on Twitter that he had planted his against the mast of a boat. The holiday tile, but Tahiti is in the heart of the Windward Islands, so we’ll say it’s the fault of a squall. Nevertheless, here again, the magnificent landscapes and their world renown are recognized by the world of the orange ball… there is no harm in having fun.
Guys, is there someone in Tahiti to lend/rent me a drone?
Help! I farted mine there it’s the galèèèèère
— Evan Fournier (@EvanFourmizz) June 6, 2017
It is impossible for us to evoke this corner of the world without mentioning the tragic story of Bison Dele. Disappeared with his family off Tahiti while he was going for a trip aboard his catamaran, the player and his family were murdered, and their bodies most certainly thrown into the waters of the Pacific. The only survivor of the maritime escapade, Dele’s brother, Miles Dabord. Suspicions pointed towards him during the investigation carried out by the FBI after the fact, in 2002. The boat was found riddled with impacts possibly made by bullets. His brother will commit suicide in California after an interrogation, leaving only the mystery around this affair. Difficult to evoke this subject so quickly but it is treated with precision right here.
We end our world tour in New Caledonia. No NBAer has passed through the South Pacific island to our knowledge, but it remains an exceptional place nonetheless. We obviously think of the local Stephen Curry, aka Michel Castex. A basketball player who marked the history of island basketball, he was the benchmark for a whole generation of New Caledonian players. His legendary actions at the Guam Games in 1975 or his time with the Harlem Globetrotters will forever be remembered.
It’s already over ! It was fast, but so nice to think of all these dream places. Suddenly, we envy all the NBAers who have had the luxury of taking a vacation far from their daily lives. Besides, what would be your favorite holiday desire in the list made here? Hey, we are leaning towards Tahiti and Bora Bora anyway, pfiou.
Sources: La 1ère, Vanilla-island.org, Instagram, Twitter @EvanFournier, 360tahiti.com