Tag: San Antonio Spurs


Tony Parker talks about playing for legacy with Spurs, France


When you talk about the greatest European players in NBA history, Tony Parker’s name has to come up. He’s a four-time NBA champion including one where he was Finals MVP (2007), a six-time All-Star, four times All-NBA second team, plus he has a European championship where he was the unquestioned leader of the French team.

At age 33, he is back defending that Euro title starting today (Saturday).

You can bet Gregg Popovich would prefer Parker be back in San Antonio prepping for the season in a lower-risk environment, but Parker told ESPN that playing for this title is about his legacy, and he can’t pass it up.

“My idol was Michael Jordan,” Parker said. “He was always motivated to get better. Lots of people have asked me, ‘Tony, why do you continue to play for the French national team? There’s nothing to prove.’ But I’m motivated, to play as long as possible, to use my talents for as long as possible and to push my limits.

“You look for things to motivate you. There’s history you can look at. There have been many great teams that have come before you: Yugoslavia, the great teams, Spain [now]. They’re a super example for us. … Perhaps in 10, 15, 20 years, we’ll have inspired the basketball players of France.”

Parker is the best player ever to come out of France (a country that had 10 players on NBA rosters at the start of last season). When the discussion turns to the greatest European player ever in the NBA the first answer is usually Dirk Nowitzki, and with good reason. But Parker should be mentioned in that same breath.

Now, he says, “it’s an honor to be in a conversation for the best European player in history. You don’t think of that when you start. You have all the names, guys like [Toni] Kukoc, [Drazen] Petrovic who stood out in European basketball. It’s bizarre to think of someone from France being near No. 1.”

It’s not as bizarre as it used to be, which is part of Parker’s legacy.

Report: Former second-rounder Deshaun Thomas will accept Spurs’ tender if offered

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Deshaun Thomas famously refused to give the Spurs his phone number.

Now, he’s waiting to hear from them.

Despite his interview difficulty, San Antonio drafted Thomas with the No. 58 pick in 2013. The last two years, they offered him the required tender โ€“ a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed and at the league minimum, necessary to retain his rights. Both years, Thomas rejected it in favor of signing in Europe, allowing San Antonio to carry his rights another year.

But he’s apparently no longer willing to put off an NBA deal.

David Pick:

The Spurs have until tomorrow to offer Thomas the tender. If they don’t, he’ll immediately become an unrestricted free agent.

If he accepts the tender, he’ll either make the regular-season roster or he won’t. Either would get him closer to the NBA. San Antonio keeping him would obviously get him there immediately. But even if he’s waived, he could negotiate with all 30 NBA teams. As is, only the Spurs, who hold his draft rights, can sign him.

San Antonio has 13 players with guaranteed contracts plus Matt Bonner ($749,594 guaranteed), Jimmer Fredette ($507,711 guaranteed), Reggie Williams (unguaranteed) and Youssou Ndoye (unclear guarantee). Those are substantial guarantees for Bonner and Fredette. I think the odds of Thomas beating them in training camp for the final two regular-season roster spots are low.

But it’s obviously not impossible. The Spurs drafted Thomas, and the only way for them to get a return on that investment is bringing him to camp to compete for a regular-season roster spot.

There is a downside, though. Required tenders can’t include an Exhibit 9, which offers teams protection if a player gets hurt. If Thomas injures himself during training camp, his contract would become guaranteed until he can play again. San Antonio might determine Thomas’ odds of making the team are too low to warrant such a risk.

Thomas faces potential downside with this route, too. If the Spurs bring him to camp and waive him before the regular season, he won’t receive more than per diem. During that time, he could miss out on more-lucrative overseas options.

If Thomas wants to reach the NBA, though, this his best move. It’s on San Antonio to make a call.

Brandon Armstrong does Manu Ginobili impression โ€” and Manu loves it

Detroit Pistons v San Antonio Spurs

Brandon Armstrong, the master of NBA imitationsย (James Harden, Russell Westbrook, JaVale McGee and others) took on a new target:

Manu Ginobili.

And Ginobili loved it.

He’s not the first, Westbrook cracked up at his, too.

I can’t wait to see Armstrong try to do Shawn Marion’s jumper some day… oh wait, he’s done that.