AT&T Center – San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker spent most of his offseason on the court instead of resting. Aside from a deep playoff run to the NBA Finals with San Antonio, he suited up for the French national team at EuroBasket 2013 where he captured the gold medal.
Add a quick turn around from Team France to join the Spurs for training camp and a slate of preseason games ahead of him, and one can imagine that rest is in order for the Spurs' floor general.
The Spurs got their preseason schedule going yesterday with a narrow win over CSKA Moscow. Parker logged 20 minutes of action and finished with six points.
After the game, head coach Gregg Popovich stated the team is making sure they are not overworking Parker in practice but he expects Parker to fight a little and want more playing time as the regular season draws near.
"Oh yeah, he's fine. We sat him a couple of practices so far just to make sure we're not overdoing it. But he's still young and he wants to be ready to go," said Popovich. "We'll probably fight a little bit about it as we get closer to the real season, but for now we'll play him for sure."
Despite the long summer of play, Parker does insist he is feeling good. However, it can be a double-edge sword.
On one hand, the team does not want to exhaust Parker so early in the season and risk injury which might stem from his long summer of play. On the other hand, the team has to give him minutes to keep him fresh.
Parker is the youngest of the "Big 3" but he is on the opposite side of 30-years old. He is in his prime but it is a matter of resting him now and not risk him sputtering when it matters most – the postseason.
In the end, Parker is a competitor and it should not come as a shock to hear Pop expect him to want to play more as the season nears. However, the long term benefits certainly outweigh the short-term for Parker and San Antonio.