With the 2022 World Cup now firmly in the rearview mirror, it’s nice to see Kylian Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi put their respective international heartaches behind them as the Paris Saint-Germain teammates took in a little NBA action together in New York on Monday.
The Brooklyn Nets beat the San Antonio Spurs 139-103 to win their 12th consecutive game, the longest winning streak in the NBA this season.
In the crowd at the Barclays Center were Mbappe and Hakimi, and it wasn’t long before ESPN’s cameras spotted the pair enjoying their courtside view of the action.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 3, 2023
Kyrie Irving was on fine form for the Nets and led with 27 points and eight rebounds while Kevin Durant held his own with 25 points and 11 assists. They then had the pleasure of meeting with Mbappe and Hakimi after the game, even trading jerseys with their soccer-playing counterparts.
Mbappe’s France were responsible for ending Morocco’s exceptional run at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as Les Bleus knocked Hakimi’s side out in the semifinals. Mbappe then became the first man to score three goals in a World Cup final since 1966, but he was on the losing side against Argentina — featuring another of his PSG teammates, Lionel Messi — after a dramatic penalty shootout.
Despite all that, the duo looked to be in good spirits as they were treated to the VIP experience in New York, even gaining access to the locker room for head coach Jacque Vaughn’s postmatch debrief.
Mbappe and Hakimi have played together for PSG since the World Cup ended, with the former returning to action to score a late winning goal in a 2-1 Ligue 1 victory over Strasbourg on Dec. 28 before both played the full 90 minutes in a dismal 3–1 defeat to Lens four days later.
Next up for PSG is a Coupe de France clash against third-division side LB Chateauroux on Jan. 6, for which coach Christophe Galtier may decide to give some of his star players some more post-World Cup rest.