News Radio WOAI KTKR AM Sports
Old 05-07-12, 02:24 PM
esparzar1's Avatar
President: K.Leo Fan Club
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 3,775
French evolution

NBA - Tony Parker has Spurs gunning for another title - ESPN The Magazine - ESPN

WHEN SPURS COACH Gregg Popovich saw how Tony Parker, his starting point guard, led Team France last summer to its best EuroBasket finish in 60 years, he had only one question: Why doesn't he play that way for us.

Parker's answer: All you had to do was ask. That Pop did ask may be the biggest reason the Spurs are title contenders (again), even though 36-year-old Tim Duncan is dragging his left leg, Manu Ginobili has missed nearly half the season and five new faces are in the rotation.

Parker has long been part of the Spurs' Big Three, with Duncan and Ginobili, but he's tended to carry himself like the slight, sensitive 19-year-old who arrived 10 years ago. Popovich treated him accordingly, perhaps thinking it was simply Parker's nature to defer -- until he saw that refuse-to-lose drive last summer.

"With the national team, it's always been my team," Parker says. "I just tried to fit in here. Pop told me, 'This year, you need to lead, and Timmy and Manu will follow.' Only Pop could say that. I felt it was time too, but to me, it's always been Timmy's team."

Parker's role in earning France a EuroBasket silver medal irked Popovich, given Parker's tepid playoff showing less than five months earlier, when the top-seeded Spurs were upset by the eighth-seeded Grizzlies. Popovich's staff spliced together clips showing Parker leading all EuroBasket scorers with big shots and relentless defense and contrasted them with Memphis series lowlights, in which opposing point guard Mike Conley kept blowing by him and stripping him of the ball. "It gave me great fodder," Popovich says.

French teammate and recent Spurs acquisition Boris Diaw wasn't around for the Memphis playoff loss and didn't see Popovich's video mashup, so it's telling that to him, the 2012 Spurs' Parker and les Bleus' Parker are identical. "It's the way he's playing," Diaw says, "and what he demands from the other players."

Case in point: In a 120-99 late-season win over the Warriors, Spurs center DeJuan Blair picked off a pass but had his fast-break layup foiled by a tripping foul. Parker then confronted the 6'7" Blair about his forced shot over 6'11" Mickell Gladness two possessions earlier, reminding Blair how much he liked being fed the ball and of the need to reciprocate. At one time, Parker might have left that duty to Duncan, who at that moment stood to one side, silently observing. "This is more his team now," Duncan says. "You can see him turning it up."

Primarily by not turning it over. Parker, 29, has had better shooting and scoring seasons, but through April 24 he averaged a career high 7.7 assists and an assists-to-turnovers ratio of 2.96 -- signs that he has evolved from a terrific pick-and-roll scorer to a complete point guard.

"His decisions have been so much better," Popovich says. "He recognizes score, situation and time. He came back with a lot of confidence and a lot of purpose, and it has carried over. He's calling off a play I wanted because he sees something else."

Or, as Parker might put it, because Pop asked.
I think he's going to be a star. And as time goes on, he'll be the face of the Spurs, I think.--- Coach Pop on Leonard
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-12, 02:36 PM
MichaelWi101's Avatar
SR 2009 and 2011 Pick The Winner Champion
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
Posts: 2,978

He's become one of the very best point guards in the league and his stepping up in leadership bodes well for the future of the franchise.
Since you can't fix stupid, at least you should be able to prosecute it!
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-12, 04:19 PM
choppsboy's Avatar
SpursReport Team Bench
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Antelope, CA
Posts: 2,031

I have been asking for years!
I am never coming back to SpursReport because TimmyDthaWay2B is a horses ass.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:33 AM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.7.4 Copyright © 2000-2008 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited.

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0