TP on ‘nice’ Pop, loss to Grizzlies, T.J. Ford & more

Day one of the San Antonio Spurs’ training camp is in the books as players gathered to get set for one hectic short season now that the lockout is over.

And knowing the team will have to be prepared in such to endure the rigors of a 66-game schedule complete with a few dreaded back-to-back-back games, one would thing head coach Gregg Popovich would get this team up-and-running. In actuality, day one was quite the opposite.

In an interview with NBA.com, Parker said Pop was actually “nice” to the team on day one.

“Coach Pop, he was very nice to us. We didn’t run that much. Just a lot of talking and a lot of philosophy on what we are going to do this year,” said Parker when asked how was day one of training different from past Spurs training camps.

This was exactly what Pop had to do on day one. With the truncated season, there is no need to start running these guys at full speed knowing it might come back to haunt the squad down the road. A slow start is actually what is probably best for this team.

The last time Parker suited up for San Antonio, it was in a loss to the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the first round after the Spurs came in as the number one seed in the West. However, Parker says it is due to untimely injuries to Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

“TD got hurt at the end of the season and Manu got hurt in the last game. So we were not 100% against Memphis. They played great. I think for us we just have to refocus and try to play the same basketball we did all season last year and make sure we stay healthy come playoff time.”

As for possibly filling spots on the team with Richard Jefferson’s status with the team uncertain and Antonio McDyess contemplating retirement, TP says filling spots on the roster is an issue for every team but feels the Spurs have an advantage.

“I think for us because we have the same core so we got a little bit of an advantage, we got a lot of returning players. So in that sense we can go forward, everybody knows the plays, we have the same coaching staff, we’re running the same stuff. So I think we’re still doing pretty good. I know Pop and RC (Buford) they’re going to make some decisions in the next couple days now that free agency has started. I always have a lot of confidence in them to make sure they improve our team.”

Ans speaking of making moves to improve the team, the Spurs recently signed T.J. Ford to backup Parker and TP feels the addition of the ex-Longhorn is going to be a great fit.

“I think he is a great fit. I think he’s a great addition for the team. He’s going to push the ball, get some shots for the second unit for guys like Gary Neal and Matt Bonner. He’s very aggressive and super fast. So I think he’s definitely going to help our team.”

But when asked who is faster, TP said he and Ford are both fast.

However, for TP he will have to watch his health and monitor his minutes throughout the season.

In the interview Parker did say he will play with the French national team at the 2012 Olympic games this summer. This would mean a quick turn around for him once the NBA season is done. And with the playoffs lasting a bit longer than usual due to the lockout, Parker will just keep on adding the miles on his legs.

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