Tony Parker initially believed San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich would rest his starters in the team’s two upcoming games against the Golden State Warriors. With the game plan Pop used on Monday, Parker is no longer sure.
Popovich used the majority of his roster in an 88-86 win over the Utah Jazz. Because of that, Parker now expects all of the starters to play Thursday night against Golden State.
“I think we’ll play,” he said, per Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com. “Utah, I thought he was going to rest everybody. But we played Utah, so I don’t see any reason we’re not playing Golden State.”
San Antonio’s game against the Warriors will be the first leg of a back-to-back. Pop almost always rests his stars and older veterans for one game in those situations, but he could choose to rest them on Friday against the Denver Nuggets.
“Like I said, before the Utah game, I thought [Popovich] was going to rest everybody,” Parker said. “He said he wanted to play. So if we played Utah, I don’t see any reason now we’re not going to play Golden State. Before, we were going to rest everybody like against Utah and Golden State. But I guess he changed his mind. Everybody’s playing now.”
The Warriors’ loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves Tuesday night may have complicated matters even more. The Spurs now have an outside chance of earning the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, which could factor into Popovich’s decision making.
Whatever Pop decides to do, you can be sure it will have nothing to do with playing spoiler in Golden State’s pursuit of 73 wins. And if you think it does, go ahead and ask him about it. We all know the type of answer he’ll give.
Tony Parker embarrassed Roy Hibbert so badly on Saturday night that the San Antonio Spurs guard caught himself by surprise.
Hibbert left the game in the first half with an ankle injury after Parker put him on roller skates. Parker drove to the lane and got Hibbert to bite on a shot fake, and Hibbert lost his balance and fell to the floor. Parker was unable to convert the layup, and he later admitted he was “surprised” after making Hibbert look so bad.
Roy Hibbert discovered one way to defend Tony Parker: pic.twitter.com/FEWCTeIKHQ
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) February 7, 2016
Fortunately, X-rays on Hibbert’s ankle came back negative. The only way that play would have been worse is if Parker literally broke the big man’s ankles.
Parker must have been watching what Kawhi Leonard did to J.J. Redick earlier this season (video here). That was ruthless.
Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge has looked like the best free agent signing in the NBA from this past offseason, and it hasn’t been particularly close. Aldridge’s interior defensive presence and weakside rebounding next to Tim Duncan as well his ability to act as a release valve for the San Antonio offense, stretching a defense out to 20+ feet and bullying opposing power forwards in the post have been indispensable to the team’s 22-5 start to the season. But now it appears as though Aldridge’s positive effect on the Spurs this year goes far, far beyond his individual impact on the court.
In advance of San Antonio’s matchup with the Clippers on Friday, their first since falling in the first round of the 2015 Playoffs to Lob City last May, guard Tony Parker spoke with the San Antonio-Express News, revealing that some key members of the Spurs core may have retired had the team failed to lure Aldridge in free agency.
The 33-year-old shed some light on just how up-in-the-air the Spurs’ future seemed after that first round exit. “I wasn’t sure this team would be the same,” said Parker per Emmett Knowlton of Yahoo! Finance. “I thought it was all going to be blown up and changed.
“Everybody knew maybe we could get LaMarcus. There was hope, but at the same time it could’ve gone all wrong. Because if you don’t get him, what do we do?” Parker continued. “It was like playing poker — all in, you know? Meaning, if we get LaMarcus, everybody’s back. If we don’t, I guess everyone will retire.”
Parker’s Big Three counterparts Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, in particular, were the ones who were both rumored to be contemplating retirement after the 2014-15 NBA season. But the 2015 offseason proved a fateful one for the Spurs, who managed to convince Danny Green to re-sign on a team-friendly deal and traded away Tiago Splitter’s contract to the Atlanta Hawks, thus enabling San Antonio to land their man in Aldridge and convince the gang to come back for one final hurrah. Now with the addition of Aldridge, the subsequent signing of veteran big man David West on a minimum deal, and the full-scale emergence of Kawhi Leonard as a go-to crunchtime/isolation scorer, new life has been breathed into the Spurs’ aging core as they look poised for yet another run at the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
For the 30-year-old Aldridge, whose significance to the team now clearly transcends his relatively modest averages of 15.7 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game, maybe he can start referring to himself now as “The Fish That Saved San Antonio.”
H/T NBA Reddit
It goes without saying that San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker is a pretty big deal in his home country of France. But Nike is quickly learning that Parker’s fame in his native land has its limits.
The corporate giant has been ordered by a French court to pay 67,500 euros (approximately $74,000) in damages after a 2011 incident in which they placed an oversized Tony Parker French national team jersey on a statue of Winston Churchill. It was apparently a promotional stunt to commemorate France’s qualification for the Euro Championships that year. The national team, Parker included, proceeded to pose in front of the remodeled statue.
— Mktg de los Deportes (@mktgdeportivo) July 2, 2015
The statue is located on Winston Churchill Avenue in Paris, having been unveiled in 1998. Public funding shouldered the over $275,000 cost it took to build the statue. Its sculptor, Jean Cardot only recently caught wind of the incident and proceeded to successfully sue Nike and marketing company Ubi Bene.
Churchill is one of the most renowned leaders in British history, a global figure whose fame is so widespreading that he even finds himself immortalized in other countries. Churchill is one of the very few non-French subjects to be honored with a statue in France.
While such an incident probably won’t cause Anglo-French relations to deteroriate to the point of a second Seven Years’ War, it’s doubtful that Nike envisioned their marketing ploy to go this awry. Still, the fact that it took them four years to be punished with a meager $75,000 recompense (at least for them) means they probably don’t regret it too much. And it’s hard to imagine that Parker, who saw his Spurs sign LaMarcus Aldridge and David West this offseason, cares too much about being upstaged in his home country by the late British prime minister.
No telling if Adidas plans to retaliate by placing a Joel Freeland jersey on a statue of Charles de Gaulle.
H/T Sporting News
- Tony Parker
The San Antonio Spurs have enjoyed so much success over the past two decades in large part because of the team atmosphere they have created.
Their players care for one another, share the spotlight, and have fully embraced what it means to be a team. This particular quote from Tony Parker after the team’s 110-98 win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night shows how unselfish their players are. Keep in mind that Parker scored a team-high 27 points, which was his most in nearly a month, as Kawhi Leonard has been leading the team in scoring lately. He was asked how they balance the scoring.
“It’s like me and Manu back in the day,” Parker said via the San Antonio Express News’ Dan McCarney. “We have to share, you have to wait your turn and sometimes I won’t see the ball for a long time, because Kawhi is unbelievable and it’s going to be Kawhi’s team anyway. Like Timmy transitioned to Manu, Manu transitioned to me and now it’s going to be transitioned to Kawhi. I’ll try to do my best to stay aggressive and be involved, but Kawhi is going to be the man.
“He’s playing great and sometimes I’ll have nights like this where I have the ball. bust most of the time it’s going to be Kawhi. We have to transition to that. He’s young, he’s playing great, and he’s going to demand double teams. So I’ll play off him, like all those years I did with Timmy. I’ll just stand in the corner and just wait for Timmy to do his thing. We always did a great job sharing and wait our turn. It will be no different with me.”
If there are any egos on that team, you’ll have to show me where because it’s hard to see them. They don’t have guys trying to hog the ball late in their careers because they are used to being stars; they have guys who understand their place and value winning over everything else.
There is an exceptional selfless culture of winning in San Antonio, and that is a huge reason why they have been so good for so long. Many players know what it takes to fit into a role, they just choose not to accept it. It takes special players and special coaches to get everyone to buy in the way the Spurs have.
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.
- Tony Parker
Tony Parker had himself a nice little weekend.
Parker signed a three-year, $43.3 million contract extension with the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, and a day later he got married to girlfriend Axelle Francine.
Parker has been dating Axelle since divorcing Eva Longoria in 2011, though we didn’t first learn about the relationship until Feb. 2012. The two also had their first child — a son named Josh — in April.
People says the wedding took place on Saturday and that they celebrated with a pre-wedding reception at the Cowboy Dancehall in San Antonio two days earlier.
After a marriage to a fame-hungry celebrity, Parker decided to keep it low-key and drama-free with Axelle. Smart man.