Hello everyone. I am happy to be here and to be able to answer your questions and keep you
up to date. Weíve being celebrating (the NBA title) these last few days. You can ask me any
questions you want, on Basketball Without Borders at Treviso, on the French National Team,
on my upcoming camp or on the NBA.
In what way is Basketball Without Borders important for you?
I want to help children. Thatís why I do my camp in France and I want to do the same thing
for the NBA. The NBA contacted me and asked me if I wanted to do something to help kids. I
accepted straight away. Like doing this type of thing; I am very lucky and I to share
something with children.
How do you think the children will react when they meet you at Treviso?
We are role models for these children. Sometimes, they might even listen to us more than
their parents. We are in a position to be able to give them advice, and to help them achieve
In what way is this camp different to the others?
Itís for a very good cause. I like to get involved in this type of thing
Have you got down from your cloud yet, barely 48 hours after the deciding game?
I am still on a cloud - itís a party atmosphere here. Tonight (June 18), will also be very
exciting with the parade when I will be able to see just how much the town and the fans
support us and are behind us. I just want it to last for as long as possible.
When you come back to France, your status will have completely changed. Up until now, you
were probably more famous in the US than in France, but that is likely to change. Are you
ready for all that? Even though it would seem you have your head firmly on your shoulders,
the whole showbiz and media side of things might begin to affect you and take over a bit on
I will almost certainly do one or two TV programs when I return to France, but I know my
priorities. Upon my return, it will be the camp in Treviso, followed by my own camp,
followed by the European Championship, then the NBA Europe Games. I know what my objectives
are, everything else is extra and I put to one side.
NBA players get more rest in the off season compared to, say, football players. You have all
summer to speak with the press, to get ready and to prepare yourself for next season.
Itís true that we have a little more time off, but I wonít really have that much because
this summer Iíll be playing in the European Championship with the French National Team. It
will be a great summer.
Ten years ago there was the ĎDream Team-Effectí in France. Do you feel as though there
is a Parker-Effectí that is beginning to develop?
At the moment I donít realize that. I think it will hit me when I come back to France for my
camp and for the game with the Spurs on October 8 at Bercy. Then I will be able to
experience it first hand. I do my best to represent France and I hope that people are proud
You are NBA champion at 21 years of age. What sort of effect will this have on basketball
in France and do you not think that your achievements may become banal and that it might
have a negative affect on basketball in France?
I donít think so. When you win an NBA title, whether its part of a dynasty like with Jordan
and the Bulls or Shaq and Kobe with the Lakers, you take on another dimension. If we are
able to obtain similar results with the French National Team it will be like a dream; the
Looking back, what was the cause of your dip in performances in the last three games of
the Finals? Do you think the pressure got to you? Was it the Nets defense? How did the Nets
manage to contain you in the last three games?
Looking back, you have to give credit to the Nets. They defended very well, especially on
the pick and rolls and with double teams. They adapted very well.
Do you think that next season teams will study more video cassettes of you, even if the
Spurs will not be exactly the same team next year?
We will have to see. I will also be able to adapt though. It will be completely different
At 21 years of age you achieved your childhood dream. Do you have a new dream?
Of course, I always have new objectives. Thatís how I progress. We will try to do the
back-to-back, defend our title, and maybe become an All-Star one day.
After the Finals, you are already talking about the European Championship. Is this
something that is close to your heart?
To come back to France and to do something good with the French National team would be
really great. It would be a good continuation from what I have just achieved.
How to you explain the fact that it has all happened so quickly?
You can't control it. I never thought I would get to where I am now at this age. I got
picked by a good team and I worked hard.
There are rumors that Jason Kidd may come to the Spurs next year, how do you react to
this? Can you also confirm that you will be in San Antonio next year?
I will be in San Antonio next year, that's certain. As for Jason Kidd, it's not me who
decides. If he comes we will play together on the court.
In your opinion will he be a further help for the Spurs to retain the title?
Of course. A player like Jason Kidd, wherever he has been, has helped his team. If ever we
played together, it would definitely be one of the better backcourts of the NBA.
The Spurs have two options if Kidd doesn't come: recruit a "big player" or wait and try
to get Kevin Garnett or Tracy McGrady in 2004. What would be your preference? To you
personally know these players?
There are so many possibilities, as there are so many free agents this summer: Michael
Olowokandi, Elton Brand, Jermaine OíNeal, Brad Miller, Radoslav Nesterovic -- I haven't got
any special affinities with them. I can play with anyone. At the core it's Manu Ginobili,
Tim Duncan, Malik Rose, and me. That will not change. The player that we will recruit will
help our team progress but will not change it. Tim will always be the number one option.
Sacramento is thinking about trading Mike Bibby and Hedo Turkoglu for Jason Kidd. What do
you think about this?
It would strengthen Sacramento. Anyway, Turkoglu hasn't been used very much and Mike Bibby
had a disappointing season, this year. Compared with his playoff performance last year, he
hasn't been as good. Perhaps they hope to get Jason Kidd, I don't know. It wouldn't be a bad
Were you aware of this rumor?
I don't read the newspapers much, I don't really have time. I am more focused about partying
at the moment!
David Robinson criticized you after Game 4. Was he right to do this?
It was nothing. It was the journalists who made it into something else. You like doing
Still, it's rare that a teammate criticizes another during the Finals, especially David
He just said that I took a few bad shots and you made a big story about it. I get on well
with Robinson, there is no problem. He was the first to give me a hug when we got the
Are you aware of what they are saying in France about your achievements?
A little bit, but it's hard for me to know what is going on in France. Here it is mad,
wherever I go, it's mad. It's like during the 1998 World Cup (soccer) in France. The fans
are celebrating. We are going to do the parade soon and that will be madness. As for France,
I'll find out when I come back over.
Have you heard from any other French sportsmen were following you? Have they called you
to congratulate you?
Yes, of course. It's always a pleasure that big sports stars, at the top of their sport,
call you and appreciate what you do.
People are predicting more young French players playing in the NBA next year. Do you
think it's a good thing?
Of course. The more players we have in the NBA, the stronger the French National team will
Having reached the top with the Spurs are you aiming for the top with the French National
I am going to try to bring all that I have learned in the NBA with the Spurs to the French
team. We have a very good team. It will be the first time that the team will be together. I
hope we will be able to find a system to play together. There will be NBA players as well
and we will have to learn to play together because there is only one ball on the court.
What is your opinion on Lebron James? Have you seen him play? Do you think that the
comparisons with Michael Jordan are founded?
Itís hard to have an opinion as he was playing against High School kids. I think that people
are putting a lot of pressure on him. I get the impression that whatever he does will not be
enough. Itís hard to do what Jordan did, such as scoring 26 points on average in his first
year in the NBA. Lebron James will probably go to Cleveland which is not a great team.
Thatís a lot of pressure for an 18 year old player. I think that Jordan was 21 when he
arrived in the NBA.
But you are NBA Champion at only 21 years old!
Everyone does his own thing. Lebron James is very good but itís too early to say whether
heís a Jordan, a Kobe or a Garnett.
Do you know which NBA players will be at your camp in France this summer?
It will be in Paris again at La Dťfense with Malik Rose, Bruce Bowen and Richard Jefferson.
A lot of the French National team have congratulated you on your achievements this
season. Do you think that there may be some jealousy on their part when you come back to
play for the French National Team?
I donít think so. Everyone respects the NBA Championship. When you win the title, players
both in the NBA and in France respect you. They all know how difficult it is to win an NBA
title, and all the work it involves.
Will your opponents be weary of the French National team?
Of course. The French team now has another status and I think that the referees respect us.
Itís true that the players who play against me will want to show that they are strong.
Is your objective to do with the French team what Nowitzki did with Germany?
Your attachment to the French Team seems to be important for you?
Yes. I have been in the team since the age of 14, I am used to it, I like it and I am
looking forward to good results.
When did you start thinking that it was possible to win the title with the Spurs?
Right from the start of the year. At training camp, we had a very good team. With the
addition of Ginobili and introduction of Stephen Jackson in the starting five, I thought
that we had more possibilities, we were not just a team playing around Tim Duncan. We really
had a chance to win.
The players on the French soccer team have followed you a lot. Have you followed their
progress in the Confederations Cup?
Of course, I love football. I played football before I started playing basketball. I will
follow their progress.
Where do you think Mickael Piťtrus and Boris Diaw will get selected in the upcoming
Draft? Have you spoken to Pop about your friend Boris?
I hope they are picked high. Mickael is likely to go in the top 15 and Boris between 15 and
25. I am very happy for them. Two Frenchman in the first round would be incredible. If Boris
were to come to San Antonio, it would be one big party! But i think he will get picked
higher, we only have 28th pick i think.
What do you think the chances are of seeing the three Parker brothers in the NBA?
Fifty percent. TJ had a good season as a freshman at Northwestern and I think he will have
another good season next year, which will help him. People will begin to realize that he is
my brother and will really begin to follow him. He has a very good chance of making it in
the NBA. My younger brother is in High School, his team has just finished their best season
in school history.
You mentioned the match in Paris on October 8 at Bercy. Are you eager to play in front
of your fans in France?
It will be a little strange. But i will play in France with the French National team. But to
come back and play for the Spurs as NBA Champions will be a strange sensation.