Monday, September 23, 2013

Tony Parker Adds to His Legend

At this point, everything Tony Parker accomplishes in his basketball career is just gravy.  Parker is, and has been, incredible as a playmaker point guard.

Yesterday, he was named MVP of EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia after France defeated Lithuania, 80-66, to win its first European championship.

The best thing that can be said about Parker is his appreciation for fans.  After winning the championship with his French teammates, he went into the stands to celebrate with fans.

I've always appreciated this characteristic about him.  I live in San Antonio and more than any athlete I can remember, he talks about winning for the fans.  Parker always mentions the purpose and why they play and who they play for.  It's refreshing and he stands out among all pro athletes.

Manu Ginobili remains the most beloved San Antonio Spur of all time, even though David Robinson, Tim Duncan and George Gervin have been more superior in terms of ball possession and stats.  But, Parker is closing on Manu more and more every season.

Parker's gutty performances over the last few seasons are the main reason the Spurs stayed relative and eventually made another NBA Finals appearance last season.

From now on, I don't put anything past him.  I believe in Tony Parker.  I believe he can lead the Spurs to another championship and this is certainly tough to say after what happened in Game 6, when Pops (Greg Popovich) pulled Duncan with the Spurs up five points and 23 seconds to play.

Everyone in San Anton is worried about him getting hurt and hopefully Pops will understand how important it is to keep Parker rested.  Parker needs to play sporadically, periodically, whatever way that maintains his ability to be ready for playoff time.

If Duncan can dial up numbers like Kareem and Karl Malone accomplished at 37 years old and Manu and Kawai Leonard can bring their levels up, this San Antonio Spurs team will have a chance in the upcoming NBA season.  It all comes down to health issues.

As for Parker, his spot in the Basketball Hall Of Fame is secure (I covered this issue a couple of seasons back).  This European championship only solidified it.

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