Click here to Skip to main content

Parker eases away from comments that Spurs are finished

Posted Jun 7 2011 1:15PM - Updated Jun 7 2011 2:16PM

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Spurs guard Tony Parker on Tuesday backed off comments made to French journalists last month that San Antonio can no longer likely contend for another championship.

"You know newspapers need stories and to talk about stuff, and I'm in a great situation to know what it is," Parker said. "I love the Spurs. I love being a Spur. I re-signed four years so if I didn't believe we can win a championship I would not have signed."

The former All-Star, however, didn't exactly go out of his way to try to clarify the remarks made last month in Paris, a few weeks after the 61-win Spurs were upset in the first round by eighth-seeded Memphis.

An article on FIBA's website quoted Parker as saying, "We will always have a good team but can no longer say we're playing for a championship." He added that it would be tough for the Spurs to regenerate themselves with Tim Duncan turning 36 next spring and Manu Ginobili turning 34 next month.

Parker is speaking French in the interview. A video of the interview, credited to the French sports daily L'Equipe, quotes Parker in English subtitles as saying, "It was sort of our last chance this season."

Back in San Antonio on Tuesday, Parker brushed off the quotes, offering a vague explanation of French reporters getting carried away.

"I don't have to justify anything," Parker said. "Me, bottom line, I love being a Spur and that's why I signed four more years. I have nothing to justify to you. The only thing I care about is (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich), Timmy and Manu, and my teammates."

Parker has spent his entire NBA career with the Spurs, arriving in San Antonio at the age of 19 and winning the starting job that season. He turned 29 last month and begins a four-year, $50 million extension next season.

Parker was equally candid about San Antonio's diminishing title hopes in training camp last October. He said then that he felt the upcoming season was the last chance for the Spurs to win a fifth championship in the Duncan era, again pointing toward the team's aging core.

If this season was the Spurs' last chance, they mostly spent it playing that way. They carried the league's best record for practically the entire season and entered the playoffs with the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. But the youthful Grizzlies beat the Spurs in six games, making San Antonio just the fourth No. 1 seed to fall in the first round.

Parker averaged 17.5 points and 6.6 assists last season. He said no one within the Spurs contacted him after the interview in France was published.

"They know me, they don't need to contact me," Parker said. "Pop doesn't have time right now. He's drinking wine and having fun."

photoReal Training Camp: Tyronn Lue
Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue talks with Kristen Ledlow and Steve Smith about the Cavaliers upcoming season.
photoReal Training Camp: Jim Chones
Cavaliers radio analyst Jim Chones chats about the team and the upcoming season.
photoReal Training Camp: Jason Lloyd Talks Cavs
Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal joins Kristen Ledlow and Steve Smith to discuss the Cavs upcoming season.
photoReal Training Camp: Tyronn Lue Mic'd Up
Check out head Tyronn Lue as he talks to the team during training camp.
photoReal Training Camp: Allie Clifton Interview
Cavaliers reporter Allie Clifton talks about the focus of the team after winning the title.

Copyright © NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights and Terms of Use. | Ad Choices Ad Choices is part of Turner Sports Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.