Spurs PG Tony Parker made the decision earlier this week to return home to France and play for the French club ASVEL while the NBA remains locked out, a move that makes tons of sense because Parker is from France.
While the NBA Lockout has inspired people like me to occasionally bang my head against my family room wall out of frustration as hard as I can, it has also created unique opportunities for guys like Parker to play professionally in front of their friends and family for the first time in a while. So great for Tony and the Parker’s on that; really, I’m thrilled.
The Bloguin site Project Spurs has been all over this story this week, and below is their first update on this story from Tuesday:
Will there be an upcoming NBA season or not remains to be seen but should the NBA season be canceled or games be lost, San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker has made it clear he will play for his French team ASVEL for the duration of the lockout.
Last week, we reported Parker is expected to announce he will make his decision sometime this week and according to French site www.sports.fr, Parker is set to announce he will in fact play in France at a press conference this Thursday.
Tony Parker (has) decided to play in Lyon during the lockout in the NBA, announced Tuesday night the channel Infosport +. The playmaker of the San Antonio Spurs, vice president of basketball operations Asvel, is expected to announce his arrival at the club Rhone Thursday at a press conference in Paris.
There was an issue surrounding his insurance but Parker has stated that will be paid out of his own pocket. It also goes without saying there will be an opt-out clause for his return to the Spurs once the lockout is over. If the report is true, then Parker will be the first big-name Spur to head overseas due to the lockout while Manu Ginobili might be next to head to Italy.
Later on in the day yesterday, Parker released a statement on playing for ASVEL during the Lockout and he is expected to have a press conference on it tomorrow (Thursday); this also from Project Spurs:
San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker is expected to hold a press conference this Thursday to announce he will play with French team ASVEL Villeurbanne but today he spoke to French site www.rmcsport.fr and confirmed reports he will be playing in France for the duration of the NBA lockout.
Parker revealed he made his decision this past Monday and is ecstatic to return to France and ASVEL. He also stated the main reason to play with ASVEL was the enthusiasm of capturing silver at Eurobasket 2011 and a bit of pressure from his friends and family.
My family, my friends just kept telling me: “Go, return to us because we can see you play! And that’s when I thought that there may never be an opportunity for me to come play in France.
As for the particulars of his deal with ASVEL, Parker wil play for the minimum (1,500 Euros a month) and will pay his own insurance as he has stated before.
While Tony’s over in France he’ll be also ramping back up his involvement in his French Radio Show called the TP Show. Among the guests expected early on are soccer sensation David Beckham. As soon as I find a translated link to stream that broadcast live I will be sure to let everyone know on that too by the way, should be truly riveting radio.
Parker’s first game is expected to be on October 14th against Paris-Levallois, and be sure to follow Project Spurs for more on this story as it develops.
Photo: Project Spurs