LOS ANGELES — There was no way Nicolas Batum could get to Paris Sunday. With the Blazers on a back-to-back he didn’t even have time to get to some of the smaller, solidarity rallies here in the United States.
But the French native — who has worn a “Je Suis Charlie” shirt in warmups recently — feels what is happening back home, where an estimated 1 million people rallied to show they would not be afraid of the terrorists who have killed 17 people in the city in recent days.
“I wanted to show my support, even though I was far away from Paris and France, to show I support them. I’m still French and my country, my city is crazy, scary place so I just wanted to show my support,” Batum said while icing down after his Trail Blazers beat the Lakers.
He saw the videos of the mass rally in Paris on Sunday.
“I was proud,” Batum said. “I was proud of everybody because close to a million people on the streets and no incidents. Nothing happened. There were 50 world leaders there too and nothing happened. That shows that people greatly respect each other and what happened was bad and evil people. To be honest we had Jewish people and Christian people and Muslim people, we had everyone black, white they stand together.
“I was proud to be a Frenchman.”