Through all of Eurobasket, France had been perfect for all but one game against Spain.
Yesterday, they tried to prove the loss was a fluke as they played Spain yet again in the Eurobasket final.
As much as they tried, Spain seemed to have the lead for most of the game, had the answers for every France comeback and got help from everywhere to secure the gold medal in a 98-85 win.
San Antonio Spurs’ Parker, who has lead France throughout Eurobasket, came up big yet again with 26 points, five assists, five rebounds and one steal.
While Parker was considered the MVP favorite throughout the tournament, he was named to the All-Tournament team along with Juan Carlos Navarro and Pau Gasol of Spain, Bo McCalebb from FYR of Macedonia and Russia’s Andrei Kirilenko.
While there’s no doubting Navarro finished Eurobasket strong, I’m not sure it was enough to justify him being named MVP over Parker.
Consider Parker’s 22.1 points, 4.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game compared to Navarro’s 18.7 points, three assists, 1.5 rebounds and 0.6 steals per game.
While Navarro had one of his better games against France, overall Parker had the more impressive stat line. Beyond that, take Navarro off of Spain, and Spain still has Rudy Fernandez and Ricky Rubio that could play at that position. Take Parker off of the French team and they might not have made it past the second round.
So while Parker walks away from Eurobasket coming up just short of gold, he can seek redemption next summer in London.
France, along with Spain, Argentina and Brazil will all be favorites to medal alongside the United States.
One thing that was very evident through Eurobasket was that Parker looks primed for a great season, regardless of when that starts. While Nando De Colo didn’t have a great final game, he definitely showed some improvement from last Summer and proved that, given the right minutes, he can make an impact.