Argentina’s Olympic pool play game against France, also known as the “International San Antonio Spurs’ Scrimmage,” squared off Manu Ginobili against Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and Nando De Colo.
France came away with the win, but as I wrote in an earlier post, Spurs will be Spurs. After the game Parker talked about what it was like to play against his buddy, Manu.
"Not at one point I wished that he missed. I was like, ‘No, no, the other players can miss, Manu is OK.’"
Tony actually got his wish in this game. Manu had a great performance, scoring 26 of the team’s 64 points in a losing effort for the Argentinians. It was the rest of the team that struggled and played catch up for almost the entire game.
The two countries are currently tied after going 2-1 in their first three games. The path for France is much easier because they already played the United States and Argentina has to play the gold medal favorites on Monday. No matter how much love Parker has for Ginobili I’m sure he wants to grab the higher seed in pool play for an easier path to a medal.
Both of these teams will advance to the quarterfinals, so there’s a chance we could see a rematch, although there would have to be a few upsets in there for that to happen. We may have already seen the last time Tony and Manu will face off against each other. It’s good to see that even as opponents they’re still friends.
I don't want to sound like a TP hater but here it goes. This is yet another reason for me to dislike Parker. There is no reason he should be rooting for Manu. Sure, they are best of friends in San Antonio, but this is THE OLYMPICS. Let's put it this way: would Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan or Kobe Bryant ever wish their teammate shot well while playing against them in the Olympics? There is no way in hell. They have too much of a competitive spirit to want anyone else play well against them even if it's their teammate. Hell, even Manu was quoted as saying he kept hoping TP missed his shots.
This quote just speaks to the fact that Tony doesn't have that undefinable drive like the great ones do. It's what happens in the playoffs year after year. After putting amazing performances throughout the year and in part of the playoffs, TP just shuts down when he encounters some resistance. Put a longer defender on him and he wilts. Trap him on the pick and roll and he disappears. This quote just confirms what we knew all along unfortunately. I really hope Tony proves me wrong next season, but it has yet to be seen.