18th June, 2012
Tony Parker is a French professional player with the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association, NBA. Following a remarkable regular season, the San Antonio Spurs saw their dream of winning a fifth NBA championship come to an end when they fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. Parker told FIBA.com about his dream of playing in the Olympics.
Tony, your team was eliminated in the Western Conference Finals after an incredible regular season. What are your thoughts about the season?
We had an incredible regular season. We played very good basketball all season long and we got to the playoffs feeling very confident. We had two very good first rounds against the Utah Jazz and the LA Clippers, but we failed in the Conference Finals by losing to Oklahoma City. I’m very disappointed because our goal was to win the NBA title, but we lost against to an incredible team.
Do you think you had one of your best NBA seasons individually?
I think that I had a great season, but I don’t really know if that was my best so far because we didn’t win the title. However, I’m very satisfied with the way I played these last few months. I was selected to the All-Star Game and I finished fifth in the MVP voting. The balance is pretty positive but most important to me is winning titles with my team.
Now you will lead the French national team in London this summer. What does playing in the Olympics represent for you?
For me, it’s a huge accomplishment. I’m so proud to go to the Olympics and represent my country. It’s a dream come true. I remember when I was a young kid, while watching the Dream Team play in the 1992 Olympics, I said to myself, “I want to play in the Olympics.” Now, I have the opportunity to take part in this competition. That’s incredible for my teammates and I.
What are your expectations of the team for the Olympics?
My teammates and I will give our best to take home a medal. We have a very good team and I think that we can fight for one of the first three spots. It will be difficult though. A lot of teams can reach the medals and we’ll need to play at our highest level every day of the tournament. The USA and Spain are the favourite teams, but some other countries, like us, Brazil and Argentina for example, are contenders for a medal. The challenge is very exciting.