PARIS: NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s trip to Paris to provide a public relations boost to the growing popularity of street basketball was cancelled Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) in the wake of security fears following the Nice massacre.
Organizers of the July 23-24 streetball tournament—a slimmed-down, three-player version of basketball—was scheduled to take place in the southeast of Paris.
Bryant had been due to attend the two-day tournament, seen as a key shop window for a sport which has Olympic aspirations.
“We are saddened by the announcement of the Paris Prefecture of Police while the mayor’s office of Paris had approved the staging of the event where security had been strengthened in the current context,” said a spokesman for the organizers Quai 54.
“While in total solidarity with the national grief following the events of Nice, Quai 54 however deplores the cancellation of an event that has been bringing youngsters together for 13 years.”