User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Golf
Auto
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Spurs' Parker sets sights on NBA title

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Winning is the best antidote for a painful loss.

Advertisement
Just ask Tony Parker.

The San Antonio Spurs' point guard spent a big chunk of his summer in Europe leading his native France to its first Euroleague Championship, knocking off Spain and Lithuania to capture the title on Sept. 22. That championship, and being named France's greatest athlete ever in a poll conducted by L'Equipe, blunted some of the pain that came with losing the NBA Finals to Miami in a seven-game clash.

''It was a great summer,'' Parker said. ''Obviously, it was worth it. Big win for France; first win in the history. The last week it was just an experience you only live once in a lifetime. It was crazy in France, people were so happy.''

So, too, was Parker.

''It definitely helped,'' he said. ''It was tough, obviously, it was really tough, but to have only three weeks and to play with the national team, it was a good therapy to think about something else and have new goals.''

The goals for the Spurs remain the same - to win NBA titles. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are back, giving San Antonio its Big Three, but only Parker can really be considered to be in his prime and among the best point guards in the NBA.

It will be on the Big Three - but particularly Parker - to drive the Spurs back to the heights of last season. The team will need to try and forget they were 5 seconds from closing out Miami for the NBA title in Game 6 before losing in overtime and then dropping Game 7 for their first loss in five finals appearances.

Another title would certainly be therapy.

''We'll get there, we'll get there,'' Duncan said. ''I don't think it's time to heal all wounds yet, we're going to let it fester for a little while. We're going to continue to think about it because it's going to continue to hurt whether we talk about it or let it go or not.''

Despite getting minimal rest over the summer, the 31-year-old Parker looks refreshed and eager to begin his 13th season.

''I love basketball,'' he said. ''I'm very passionate about it. The way I play, I'll be fine. I have next summer to rest.''

Not that Parker would get much sympathy otherwise from his coach.

''No, what's he make, $200 million a year,'' Gregg Popovich said with a smile when asked about resting Parker. ''Everybody says he's a cute little guy and all this kind of stuff, so he must be like 20, 21? He's going to play.''

Popovich was joking, but a tireless and near-flawless performance is truly what everyone has come to expect from Parker. He has won three NBA titles, is a five-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA second team, was the 2007 NBA Finals MVP and was named the FIBA EuroBasket MVP after leading France to its first title.

''I'm really proud of him,'' Ginobili said. ''It's not easy to do. He really needed to win one of those championships, he was missing that, and I'm really glad he did it.''

Parker is a hero in France and is the heart of the Spurs, a franchise that is happy to be one of the NBA's wallflowers.

Parker was once married to television star Eva Longoria. He was among People Magazine's ''50 Most Beautiful People'' in 2003 and was voted as the ''sexiest basketball player alive'' in Glamour Magazine's November 2013 edition. Parker still produces squeals of delight wherever he goes, including San Antonio's training camp at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

''He's one of the sexist people in the world isn't he?'' Duncan said, playfully puzzled. ''Still? No, that was like 10 years ago, never mind.''

Parker is still a kid brother to Duncan, the affable son of Popovich and the clarity to Ginobili's calamity.

''There is a lot of joking going around and he takes it well,'' San Antonio guard Patty Mills said. ''But also serious stuff as well. The way the system is run here in San Antonio, Pop likes to treat everyone equally. The last guy gets yelled at just as much as Tony Parker gets yelled at. I think that's what's so great about (Parker), being able to handle that and understand it just shows how professional he is.''

Not that Popovich has had much cause to yell at Parker.

Last season, he averaged 7.6 assists and 20.3 points, the second-highest scoring average of his career. He has perfected a 180-degree spinning layup that leaves defenders just as frustrated as they are with his teardrop shot.

In spite of all the individual accolades and statistics, Parker enters the new season with the same goal he had entering last season's run to the finals. He got off to a fast start this week, scoring 13 points and adding nine assists in a season-opening win over Memphis.

''I'm so excited to start with the Spurs and try to win a championship,'' Parker said. ''I get another opportunity to get Timmy out with a championship. I'm ready to go.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Mejia: Dinero Talks - GSW/OKC
Akins: Hoop Trends - Saturday
Sportsbook: OKC visits Golden State
News: SB50 Cross-Sport Props
Spurs blow out Mavericks, 116-90
Jazz pull away for 84-81 win over Bucks
Green, Grizzlies hold off Knicks 91-85
Bradley propels C's past Cavs, 104-103
CP3, Jordan power Clips past Magic 107-93
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
8-0 L6 Days, 62% +1,818 TY
5-0 L5 Picks, 4-0 L4 G-Plays
5-1 Record Last Night
11-2 Win Streak L6 Days
14-2 L16 G-Plays, 12-6 L18 Picks
15-7 L22, 22-11 L33 Run
6-1 L7, 37-18 Run, 18-7 G-Plays
6-3 L9 Guarantees, 12-5 L17 Picks
23-10 L33 Picks, 12-4 L16 G-Plays
27-15 Record L10 Days
2-0 LN, 9-3 L12 Totals, 8-4 G-Plays
6-1 Last 7 Guaranteed Plays
6-0 L6, 15-5 L20 G-Plays
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks - Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers
2015 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 1818
Don Anthony + 985
Chip Chirimbes + 955
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 800
Kevin Rogers + 780
NeiltheGreek + 624
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Paul Bovi 62 %
Joe Nelson 58 %
Don Anthony 56 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 1414
Marc Lawrence + 524
Vince Akins + 393
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1653
Vince Akins + 1073
Stephen Nover + 965
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mark Franco + 1432
Kevin Rogers + 1308
The Gold Sheet + 664
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership