As the NBA has announced that the first two weeks of the season will be canceled indefinitely, San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker has already begun preparation for an extended lockout as he had his first practice with his French team ASVEL on Monday in France.
“I too am excited. I (cannot) wait for Friday. There should be a great atmosphere. I have little opportunity to play in France and is a good opportunity to (have) fun in front of my family, my friends and all my fans. We will take full advantage of the lockout.”
The game on Friday night has already been announced as a sell-out in France because of the “Parker effect” of being in France. At Parker’s request, all practice sessions will be behind closed doors.
Parker is not only a player with ASVEL now, he’s still the Vice President of the club, but he says that won’t interfere with his role on the court. He’s a player before front office personnel.
“The coach is the boss. He showed me the system and try to adapt quickly. I am 100% player, I try to help my teammates and I listen to instructions, “he says, recalling the objectives of the club was” to qualify for the playoffs with a young team capable of achieving good things. “
Parker’s new coach Pierre Vincent is also excited for the leadership skills Parker will bring to the club.
“Tony is a very disciplined player. He always had a lot of attention and respect for coaches. It comes from the education given by his father who was a basketball player. It is there to work. He knows what it is”
There’s a reason why Parker wasn’t one of the players to just stay-and-train back in San Antonio as some of the other players have been doing during the lockout, he knows his body isn’t in game shape and the only way to get it there is to play consistent competitive basketball.
His new coach adds this, “We will see in the week. It is still not in great shape. He saved this first training course of two hours for recovery. He had a break. Be careful to injury but it will rise steady gradually, “
For Spurs fans seeing that the NBA season is still a long way from starting, they have to be happy Parker is playing somewhere where he’s comfortable but as with any player playing during the lockout, they’re always a fear of any type of injury overseas.
(Photo: Philippe Desmazes AFP)