San Antonio Spurs (USA-NBA)Career:
Centre Fédéral-INSEP (France-3rd Division, 1997-99), Paris BR (France-Pro A, 1999-2001), San Antonio Spurs (NBA, 2001-11)
For Tony Parker and his "gang", the U18 European champions of 2000 in Zadar, this EuroBasket and the 2012 Olympic Games in London seem to be the last chance for glory wearing a National Team jersey. The Spurs' 2009 NBA Finals MVP has always shown great dedication to the his country, but his story in blue has been somewhat bitter so far. In 2003, the young captain, whom had just won his first of three NBA crowns with the Spurs, was clearly left alone by some team-mates (led by controversial Tariq Abdul Wahad) during a Bronze medal game upset against an injury plagued Italy. Consequently TP didn't get to see Athens in the summer of 2004. The next year, Greece came back from a seven point deficit in the last 40 seconds of the Semi-Final with Parker having struggled during most of EuroBasket 2005 (11.9 pts shooting 34%!). Then, a broken finger prevented him from playing in the 2006 World Championship, a "pale" EuroBasket 2007 led him into a summer far from the Beijing Olympics and a "no-show" against Spain during the Quarter-Final game in 2009 cast a shadow on an otherwise bright EuroBasket, as France finished with a 8-1 record. This is why TP feels an urge for success with the National Team, with this great scoring point guard eager to taste the unforgettable feeling from Zadar once again. Tony had a very nice regular season with the Spurs, co-leading San Antonio with Ginobili to the best record in the NBA. But, as with the whole team, Parker sunk against Memphis in the first round of the play-offs, shooting just 9 for 30 in Games 1 and 3, and he then got "Coach Pop" very upset, later in the summer, by telling the French press that the Spurs were not playing for the title anymore. There were rumours of trades, but for now at least, Parker remains a Spur. Will it be enough to lead him into a successful summer? Everybody in France certainly hopes so.