Sep 22, 2013, 2:01 PM EDT
Tony Parker is why France is playing for the European championship on Sunday. He has been the best player in the tournament and dropped 32 on Spain in the semifinals to carry France to the overtime upset.
But he may be skipping the 2014 World Championships.
Parker’s is out next summer to catch is breath, Parker’s father told the French Journal du Dimanche (via Basket USA) on the eve of Parker and France trying to win it’s first European title ever. The reason is Parker will want to focus on the 2015 European Olympic qualifying and the 2016 Olympics, according to the report.
Parker previously at told France 2 that he would not play with the French national team after the Rio Olympics in 2016, according to the same report.
Parker taking a summer off and getting some rest will make Gregg Popovich happy. The Spurs went seven games into the Finals last year followed by a long summer for Parker, who is as crucial to the Spurs success as he is to France’s. If he’s tired, the Spurs are slowed. Of course, count on Popovich giving Parker plenty of rest, especially if he can piss off David Stern while doing it.
Parker is 31, still not old and with a few quality years ahead of him. The Spurs have this season and next with their core of Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili together. After that Parker could be moved (or allowed to walk) as the Spurs rebuild some around Kwahi Leonard. But if they are to make a run again in these next two years, they need everyone rested and healthy.
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