There are legitimate questions about how much Tony Parker has left in the tank. He was already slowing down when he suffered an injury in the playoffs this year that will have him sidelined until next January at least. At age 35, how much can he do after that?
Parker, however, is thinking he’s got a couple more seasons in him — and he wants to spend them with the Spurs. Look at what he told French site RMC Sport in a recent interview (via News 4 San Antonio).
“Mentally, you must be strong to come back from an injury like this,” he said. “I do not want people to think it was my last game, that I was not going to come back, because in my head, I will come back….
“I hope that the Spurs will offer me a final contract. I will be entering my final contract year, it will be the first time in my career that I will be free-agent. I’ve already said it several times, I want to play three more seasons, do the 20 seasons with the Spurs, and I think it’s two decades. I want to continue to perform well on the floor.”
Parker is set to make $15.4 million next season (and no, the Spurs are not going to kick one of their favorite players to the curb in pursuit of Chris Paul, is that how they have ever operated? Did you see how much they paid Manu Ginobili last year?).
Would the Spurs keep him beyond that? Depends on how he bounces back from the injury, and how much he would demand on the open market. But don’t be shocked if it happens, even if Parker’s role decreases.
With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.
There were a couple of good ones, however.
Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.
One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.
The NBA, at the Pacers’ request, is investigating whether the Lakers tampered by making impressible contact with Paul George.
Bob Kravitz of WTHR
In fact, there’s word that other small- and mid-market team officials have reached out to the Pacers and told them, “Good for you. Fight the good fight.”
Small-market teams whine too much about the disadvantages they face, but tampering isn’t really a market-size issue. Remember, under Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers were known as the only team that didn’t tamper.
The Lakers have advantages because George is from the area, and Los Angeles offers immense marketability. That’d be true whether or not they contacted George or his agent before he officially became a free agent.
I understand the desire to take down the big, bad Lakers – especially now that they appear poised to become truly big and bad again. But it’s hard to find a team that can cast a stone at them from anywhere other than a glass house.
The power dynamics within the Clippers are shifting, and the ground apparently hasn’t settled yet.
Doc Rivers has been stripped of his presidency. Jerry West became a consultant. Lawrence Frank now holds the most prestigious title in the front office, and newly hired Michael Winger will report to him. Also falling under Frank in the organizational chart? Trent Redden.
Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:
Longtime Cleveland Cavaliers executive Trent Redden will join the LA Clippers’ front-office staff as assistant general manager, league sources said on Monday.
Redden was ousted in Cleveland with David Griffin. He’ll help the Clippers simply by providing another capable executive. They’ve long needed to add front-office employees (and pay for them).
But Redden also exacerbates the issue of Frank’s underlings having far more front-office experience than him. As the Clippers try to establish their new setup, we’ll see whether that creates complications.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr has missed significant time the last two seasons due to complications from back surgery.
Could those issues derail his career?
Kerr, via Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“I fully expect to coach all year,” Kerr says in a no-nonsense tone. “That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.”
On the most basic level, it’d be good if Kerr feels well enough to coach. The headaches sound miserable, regardless of his job.
But it’d also be ideal if the NBA didn’t lose one of its best coaches just as he’s getting started. The 51-year-old Kerr might wind up the greatest coach of all time. Obviously that’s a long way off, but he has that potential – health permitting.