We’ve been hearing a lot from Tony Parker lately. If you watched the San Antonio Spurs’ game against the Lakers the other night, you saw him mic’d up, giving some insight into what he’s really like on the floor. I was kind of surprised that he showed a lot of personality out there and looked like he was having a good time. I really enjoyed it.
He also recently did an interview with Slam Online. He talks about his relationship with head coach Gregg Popovich and with his teammates, his leadership on the court and his own sports talk show in France, among other things. He also talked about how the Spurs never really get any big media attention.
“No, I’m used to it,” says Tony. “It’s always been like that in San Antonio; we’ve always been under the radar. I was surprised that you asked for an interview. I was laughing with my PR guy. I was like, “What? They want to do a story on the San Antonio Spurs?” I was laughing. It doesn’t really bother me; I’m used to it.”
When he talked about his relationship with Coach Pop, he says Pop always pushed him the hardest when he was a 19-year-old kid just coming into the NBA. Now, Pop trusts him enough to call his own plays (most of the time) and their relationship has evolved into one with a lot of open communication. Tony clearly has a lot of respect for his coach, as most people do, and Pop feels the same way towards Tony.
TP also talked about his relationship with Tim and Manu, and how it’s always kind of been their team, but as they get older, Tony is assuming more of the team leader role.
It’s the best relationship with teammates I’ve ever had. Timmy and Manu, they’re so unselfish, and all we care about is winning. All three of us do a good job of not caring about our egos and only caring about the team and what’s best for the team.
I think it’s just changing naturally. It’s always been Timmy’s team, and Timmy’s always been our leader. Manu, too. I was always the young guy. As they get older, [the leadership roles are] changing naturally.
Timmy is more quiet. Me and Manu will scream a bit more. Manu will go a little more crazy. He’s always been the craziest one, but a good crazy. I’ll say I’m a mix of both.
Parker has a very realistic view of the Spurs’ chances for a championship. He knows if the team stays healthy and they play their best basketball, they have a legitimate shot at a title.
“Last year we dominated the regular season, and then Manu gets hurt the last game of the regular season and then missed the first game of the Playoffs, and then Timmy twisted his ankle one week before. So we just hobbled into the Playoffs, and we didn’t play our best basketball. I think for us, the whole key is that we have to be healthy. If we’re healthy, I like our chances. I still think Oklahoma City, Miami, Chicago—they’re the favorites. But I think we’re not too far from them.”
Tony also got into talking about his radio show in France a little bit. Apparently it’s the number 1 sports show in France. Tony just goes on for an hour once a week and talks to other sports stars like Kobe, David Beckham and former Spur David Robinson.
It’s a great interview, definitely worth a read. He ends it by saying he wants to stay in the NBA as long as Steve Nash or Jason Kidd. Since TP is only 29, that means he could be around for another decade!
I would like to do it like Steve Nash—I wanna play a long time. I love basketball. I’m very passionate about it; I’m very blessed and lucky every day. I want to play until I’m like 37, 38, like Jason Kidd and Steve Nash. I want to do the same thing.