"Does the system make the point guard or does the point guard make the system?
That's the question with Tony Parker at this point in his career. When he was younger, you couldn't doubt that it was his brilliance that boosted the Spurs offense to the title even when the offense wasn't very good overall. But now? Parker's phenomenally better than he was then, but so's the system and personnel. Parker's the engine that makes the Spurs' car go, but that car has some serious hardware to put that engine to good use.
Parker was the dark horse/hipster favorite for MVP last season, guiding the Spurs to their eleven billionth top-three seeding and one of the best offensive outputs in the league. He surgically dissected the pitiful Lakers, took it right back to Stephen Curry and the hot-shooting Warriors, and utterly dismantled the Memphis Grizzlies in a sweep.
Against the Heat, he had, by my count, five of the best shots in Finals history no one will remember, including a step-back three late in Game 7 that remains maybe the most perfect basketball shot off the dribble I've ever seen. He was stupendous. He was brilliant. His play was beatuiful, his demeanor, cool and collected, his approach humble with a dash of pure killer.
And yet if you ask me who was better last season, Parker or Tim Duncan, I honestly don't know. If you ask me how Parker would do at this age with this many miles playing next to Tony Allen and Tayshaun Prince, or even Shane Battier and Ray Allen, I dont know. He has the perfect set of players and system to make him great, but he fulfills every centimeter of that trust.
He remains, as always, somewhere between oddly overrated and criminally underrated, one of the finest players of the new millenium, and a paradigm of how to play his position.
And for the first time in his illustrious career, he has a deep, burning bitterness to drive him forward after Games 6 and 7. Let's see what Parker's made of. I'm betting it's pretty incredible."
Since you can't fix stupid, at least you should be able to prosecute it!