After a surprising early start to their summer vacation after losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first-round of the NBA playoffs, San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker confessed, in an interview with eurosport.fr, he has been sick of the time off and is looking forward to finally getting back on the court for the French national team:
“It’s good to play. I had a little sick of being on vacation. It’s long, two and a half months, unfortunately with the Spurs was lost early. The team of France at the right time. We’ll say it’s a blessing in disguise for the team to France because here I am in great shape, 100%, and I hope this will continue throughout the campaign.”
France will kick off their exhibition games tomorrow versus Canada as they prepare for the pre-Olympic qualifier in Lithuania next month and Parker knows what’s at stake – an Olympic birth for France:
“This is the first objective: to qualify for the Olympics. Since Vincent (Collet, the coach of France) took matters in hand in 2009, we always talked about qualifying for the games Olympics. After so to go further, it will be a bonus. (…) In 2007, it was hard. It was a good Euro to the quarter. After the tough loss (71-75 against the Russian , ed) has been poorly collected and we have not reacted the last two matches. Much has been learned that year. We would not try the same mistakes this year.”
As far as the NBA lockout, Parker isn’t letting the negotiations distract him as his only concern is the French national team making a trip to London in 2012:
“I personally do not think about. I must say that I do not care quotes. I focus on the France team. It’s the only thing that interests me with qualification for the Olympics.”
Parker went on to say he is glad Joakim Noah is playing seeing how France needs his size to contend with larger teams such as Spain with Pau Gasol and Germany with Dirk Nowitzki.