San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker was instrumental during the team’s march to their fifth NBA title. He paced the team, scored when needed, and played big minutes, but did he do all that on a busted ankle?
Apparently he did!
According to Parker, he twisted his ankle versus the Mavs in Game 4 of their opening round series, and twisted it again in Game 4 versus OKC in the Western Conference Finals.
“I twisted my ankle in Game 4 of the 1st round against Dallas. I continued to play with this pain and I again twisted his ankle in Game 4 of the conference finals against Oklahoma City. I gritted my teeth, I did not want to leave my teammates. But the pain was too strong in the sixth game, I could not really play anymore.”
Parker sure didn’t show any signs of the ankle issues slowing him down during the postseason run, though he did have to sit out the team’s clinching second halves in Game 5 against the Portland Trail Blazers and Game 6 against the Thunder.
In that Game 4 versus Dallas, he scored 10 points in 30 minutes, but in Game 5 he scored 23, Game 6 he scored 22 and in Game 7 he scored 32. Against the Thunder in Game 4 he scored 14 points in 25 minutes, but in Game 5 he bounced back after the injury and scored 12 points.
Overall, he averaged 17.4 points, 4.8 assists, and shot 48 percent in 31.3 minutes in 23 playoff games last season.
Parker did skip out of play with Team France at the 2014 FIBA World Cup (France won the bronze medal) citing the need for rest. Now we know it was probably to give his ankles some rest as well.
However, Tony wasn’t the only Spur to play through an injury en route to the 2014 NBA crown. Manu Ginobili suffered a stress fracture during the postseason which caused him to sit out play for Team Argentina this summer.
Lesson here is Parker is tougher than you and me.