Despite being in the thick of Eurobasket 2011, San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker has been able to take a step back and look at a bigger picture with former NBA referee and current Director of Officiating Ronnie Nunn, who is assisting FIBA in an advisory role.
FIBA.com's Paul Nilsen caught up with Parker and Nunn after the two talked officiating during Eurobasket. Parker, who's never been one to overreact to a call (though the 'Duncan eyes' have come out from time to time) had nothing but good things to say about the refs at Eurobasket.
"Obviously this is all about showing them a lot of respect and making sure you don't scream. It has to be a two-way conversation if you want to be able to learn and talk about things with them," Parker said. "In the NBA, we get to see the referees every few days so you have more of an opportunity to develop a relationship - something which is of course more difficult with the National Team as you might not see referees for one or maybe even two years."
Nunn also said he was impressed with what Team France had showed so far, especially their most recent victory over Turkey.
"It's especially great to catch up with such a talented young man as Tony once again," Nunn said. "I really think France is talented. They move the ball well, they stay strong in situations like they found themselves in against Turkey when they could have easily lost. That's the mark of a potentially great team."
Nunn's involvement in Eurobasket is actually a good thing for all NBA players, as FIBA and the NBA have been working together for the last couple of years to make the rules of each organization in sync with one another. This way guys like Tim Duncan won't say "FIBA sucks" during international competition.