For San Antonio Spurs players Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, and Nando De Colo, their ending to the 2012-2013 NBA season wasn't the one they quite hoped for as they ended up losing to the Miami Heat in seven games of the 2013 NBA Finals, after being seconds away from closing the series in six games.
Sunday those three Spurs players found themselves with another championship opportunity with a chance to win Gold for their home country of France at the 2013 Eurobasket in Slovenia. Fast-forward to the end of the game and Parker, Diaw, and De Colo all stood as Gold medal winners of Eurobasket as France defeated Lithuania 80-66. Parker in particular, was named the 2013 Eurobasket MVP and was one of five selections to the 2013 Eurobasket All-Tournament Team.
Lithuania won the first quarter with a 22-19 lead but after that, the French defense was the story of the game as they clamped down on the Lithuanians in holding them to no more than 16 points in the final three quarters. At one point, France's lead had reached 20 points.
Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum led Les Bleus with 17 points. Parker, who was spectacular on Friday against Spain with 32 points, had trouble finding a rhythm Sunday as he scored 12 points on 6-of-17 shooting in 31 minutes. Diaw scored 15 points, grabbed six rebounds, and threw four assists in the win. De Colo scored four points off of the bench.
Along with Parker, Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic of Slovenia, Bogan Bogdanovic of Croatia, Linas Kleiza of Lithuania, and Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol of Spain were all named to the All-Tournament team.
For the Spurs' French trio, they'll now have eight days off before beginning training camp with the Spurs at the Air Force Academy before beginning another grueling 82-game season.
Good to see the fellas break through the Spanish wall and get the gold. Now on to continue the winning in SA
Good for Tony and Les Bleus. Now...all of our guys need to get in a hyperbolic sleep chamber and rest until training camp. Come out only for food and bathroom breaks.
Congrats to the Spurs' Frenchmen for their Eurobasketball gold! However, I do wish they had more rest prior to the start of training camp.
In the semis against Spain he did it on his own in the first half, scoring 12/20 pts, and after that his team mates had a a tough time finding a rythm in the game. But they prevailed.
It was clearly a part of the gameplan that Tony came out looking to be a distributor. Having lost once to Lithuania earlier in the tournament France needed to try something different. And it worked wonders for them. Great to see the smiles on the spurs trio as they brought home the gold. Diaw looked great and was aggressive!
@jaws3 The danger is getting injured in the competition. They can handle it.
Parker has been playing Eurobasket (7 times), Olympic (2 times) and World championship (once) since 2001. And he has played pretty strong throughout his career - everyone has their ups and downs during a long NBA season - international competition or not.