After spending six weeks playing for Asvel in Lyon-Villeurbanne, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker is happy to be back in the 210 area code.
Saturday was a bit mixed, but now I'm going back to my life, my dogs, my house, it's still ten years that I live in San Antonio, so it will make me happy to go home.
In an interview with French newspaper, Le Monde (via Google Translate), Parker talked about his experience playing for his team, even saying it is something he will not forget.
It is truly an experience I will never forget. To play for my coach Pierre Vincent, with whom I was in junior it was really great to play with Ronny (Turiaf) in France, too, is an opportunity that will never happen again, and then help my club, to advance projects on a daily basis, helping young people. I saw his tear-Westermann to drop last night, it means that I looked good during this month and a half.
Parker said playing back in France for the first time since he played for Paris Basket Racing before being drafted by the Spurs, gave him the opportunity to play in front of his fans ans his family, including his grandmother who showed up for his first game.
As far as returning to the Spurs once the lockout is officially over, Parker says his goal is the same as it has been since he first joined the Spurs, to win a championship.
The goal is always the same for us win the title. Last year they dominated the regular season, but unfortunately we had some minor injuries late in the season and we got a little dominated by Memphis in the first round. We want to show a different face this year. Favorites, Dallas and Miami are as they were in the finals last year. To us to show that we can return to that level. There remains only one or two seasons to Tim (Duncan)and Manu (Ginobili) , so it would be good to win one last time.
While Parker agrees the pace and amount of games jam-packed into a shortened season could be a challenge, he says the Spurs are used to it and will likely sit Duncan a few games as they did last season.
Parker also said playing for Asvel has him in game shape and in a rhythm, which could give him an advantage early on.
While Spurs fans have been waiting for this lockout to end with bated breath and have been worried about Parker's health while playing overseas, they'll be happy to see Parker starting the season in midseason form after playing in Eurobasket and his stint with Asvel.
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Hopefully they will not have a repeat performance of last year's playoff collapse. They will probably have a great advantage too as the shortened season will lower the mileage on Tim Duncan come playoff time.