Tony Parker benched for playing ‘horribly’
The San Antonio Spurs lost to the Brooklyn Nets in overtime Wednesday night. The loss, which was San Antonio’s first of the season to a sub-.500 team, snapped an eight-game winning streak.
Why did Tony Parker watch the entire overtime period from the bench?
Parker was benched with 4:20 left in the third quarter and played just 2:35 in the fourth. He watched the Spurs lose 95-93 in OT. Parker has been battling a rib injury, but Gregg Popovich said that had nothing to do with him sitting.
“Not a bit,” Popovich said, via Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. “He just played horribly at both ends of the court.”
It wasn’t just Parker. Popovich benched all of his starters for a key stretch in the second half.
“I thought our first team was really below par in its execution and competitiveness,” he said. “It was really disappointing.”
Parker was 4-of-8 from the field with nine points, six assists and three turnovers. Tim Duncan grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds, but he was a miserable 5-of-18 shooting. However, Duncan didn’t agree with Pop’s assessment that the starters gave a lackluster effort.
“Sometimes (that is) unfairly thrown around,” Duncan said. “Sometimes … we’re just off for a night, and I don’t know if it’s anyone’s fault specifically.”
Parker said that he was definitely hoping to get back into the game late in the fourth quarter and in overtime, but added that he respects Popovich’s decision.
The best part about all this? Duncan and Parker have nine championship rings between them. Pop don’t play no favorites.