With the San Antonio Spurs 2012-13 season set to kickoff this Wednesday, the team will once again hope the season ends with another title and a parade down San Antonio's famed Riverwalk.
At least that's what's on Tony Parker's mind.
TP spoke with French site France24.com, where he made it clear, the goal is to bring title number five to the franchise and for him to become an All-Star and keep the team among the elite of the NBA.
We were two games away from reaching the NBA Finals last season. I cannot wait to return to that position. We're even better this year. The goal is to win the NBA title.
From a personal perspective, my goal is to do as well as last year and be among the All-Stars .The difference between good players and great players is that great players are able to repeat big seasons. My goal is really to keep Spurs at the top of the NBA.
The team didn't do too much tinkering with the squad over the offseason. They added guard Nando De Colo and resigned most of their free agents. But with Manu Ginobili out of action for the road opener versus New Orleans, De Colo might be seeing some action early in his NBA career. And Parker has faith in his countryman and is supportive of him.
Nando is very well suited for the Spurs. With Boris Diaw, we try to help him. But the competition is fierce among Spurs, there are many talented players in his position, so it will be a little difficult. But coach Popovich believes in his talent. He must have patience.
As the Spurs begin their march to what will hopefully be a successful season, TP knows the competition will be tough. He points to the Thunder, Clippers and Lakers as teams to beat in the West and the Celtics, Heat and Bulls in the East.
The favorites are always the same. In the West, we have to look to the Spurs, Lakers and Oklahoma. The Clippers also have a good team. In the East, however, there is Miami. Chicago and Boston will be a good season, but I do not see any team can beat the Miami Heat.
As for this season and beyond, TP says retirement is far from his mind but does admit it will be odd not having Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan round once their time in the NBA is done.
I begin my 12th year in the NBA. I'm 30 and I feel great physically. I do not think about retirement because I am a big fan of basketball, I want to continue as long as possible . My preference would be to finish my career in San Antonio. It would be something beautiful.Later, when Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili retire, it will be weird. I try not to think about it. I spent my whole career with them and coach Gregg Popovich. I find it hard to imagine playing without them, so we'll see. I'm not closed to the idea of a new experience.