I was stunned when I heard this breaking news! Titular point guard of the San Antonio Spurs, Tony Parker was supposed not to play with his national team this summer. Even though the player was eager to play with France, his team and above all his coach Greg Poppovich were known to be reluctant to that idea, so much so they banned him from doing so. They were said to be adamant on it. The main raison was because their player needed some rest, after several grueling seasons.
That’s what everybody thought until last night, just before Parker unexpectedly announced he’ll eventually play with the French National team from today until the end of september. Talk about an about-face!
Given that he didn’t play since early june, the Spurs changed their mind, deeming Parker got enough rest. Plus, TP kind of coerced his team, asking them several times if he could join his National team. San Antonio finally agreed to release their player.
So far, Parker was training with Chip Engelland in L.A., and admitted that watching the Olympics on TV was a hardship he couldn’t take any more. France didn’t qualify for the Olympics last year, and now is faced with a difficult task : a qualifying tournament in September, and Parker will do his best to help his team qualify for the next European Championship which will be held in Poland next year. After missing the Olympics, France can’t miss this event, otherwise they’ll be doomed to an unknown future.
So I guess Parker felt the urge to help his team getting back in the limelight. He said : “I gotta be with my teammates right now.” Somehow, I think it’s a win-win situation for everybody. It’s an understatement to say that France is gonna need Parker’s skills to cope with the incoming tournament, and hopefully San Antonio will get a player in great shape when their training camp will kick off next fall.