Tony Parker believes this is the last chance for the current core group of the San Antonio Spurs to make a championship run. And he insists he not just saying that because he’s in the last year of his current contract.
Actually, he makes some really good points. The Spurs have made the Western Conference Finals just one time since winning the NBA Championship in 2007, and that came in a 4-1 trouncing to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008. They were swept in the conference semifinals a year ago. And, as Parker states, Tim Duncan isn’t getting any younger.
But I’m still a bit confused as to Parker’s stance on staying in San Antonio. Despite being in the final year of his deal, he says he wants to stay. He also says he wants nothing more than to win and this is the Spurs last chance for a while, so why does he want to stay?
Guess I’ll just sit back like everyone else and watch this one play out.
Tony Parker joined KTKR in San Antonio with Andy and Walter to discuss how his free agency will play out, whether he wants to stay in San Antonio, if it’s hard on him to see people starting rumors about him, if he wants to test the free agent market or would rather have a deal right now, why this Spurs team seems more prepared to make a title run and why this is the last year the Spurs can win a title.
On how his free agency will play out:
“For me, it’s going to be very simple. I just want to focus on this season and we have a great opportunity with this team and I just want to stay focused on that. I can’t control you or anybody else in the media, can’t control what they’re going to say, and [if it's] going to go crazy inventing something that my wife said and she didn’t say. I can’t control all that. I’m just going to focus on my team.”
On whether he wants to stay:
“Of course, of course. I’ve said that plenty of times, but nobody’s listened to me. They don’t care, they just want to create stories. It sells better.”
On whether it bothers him that people invent such stories:
“Not really. I just hope Spurs fans know that I want to stay here and that I can’t control what other people are going to say.”
“We’ll see. We’ll see. We’ll see. We’ll see. For now, I just want to focus on the team and training camp starting tomorrow. I can’t control that. If the Spurs want to do something, I’ll be willing to listen, obviously. But we’ll see. It’s a long way. I’m going to use Manu [Ginobili] as an example. He went through it last year, and so we’ll see what happens.”
On why he believes this group is more prepared to make a title run:
“I think we’re more hungry. And I think everybody’s rested. I didn’t play with the national team. Manu didn’t play, [Tim Duncan] didn’t play. And I think we have a better bench and I think our young guys, they’re pretty good. Tiago Splitter is ready to play. He won everything in Europe and he’s coming here a little bit like Manu when he first came, with all the experience. I like the balance of our team. I like our chances, but 10 other teams say the same thing.”
On why this is the last year the Spurs can win:
“I know people think I’m saying that because of my contract here, but I really feel like because of Timmy I’m saying that, not because of my contract. I’m saying that because of Timmy because then it’s going to be tough. It’s a long season and Timmy’s like 34, going to be 35. That’s why I felt like this is our last chance to win a championship. When Timmy’s gone, then it’s going to be really tough.”