VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Spurs' Parker sets sights on NBA title

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.''

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Rockets rout Spurs for 12th straight win
Westbrook helps OKC outlast 76ers in 3OT
Gorbert, Favors hurt in Jazz win over C's
Barton leads Nuggets past Pelicans in OT
Bulls top Bucks for fifth straight victory
Pistons withstand late rally to beat Pacers
Lowry triple-doubles, Raptors rout Nets
Wizards hold on to beat Clippers 100-91
Knicks F Porzingis avoids serious injury
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
11-1 G-Play Run, 14-3 L17 Picks
6-0 L6 G-Plays, 5-2 Yesterday
6-0 L6 G-Plays, 11-4 Overall TY
2-0 LN, 16-2 L18 Over/Unders
17-7 NBA Streak, 14-7 G-Plays
14-6 L20 Totals, 42-26 L68 Picks
13-7 L20 Picks, 7-3 L10 G-Plays
10-2 L12 Picks, 14-4 G-Plays TY
3-1 L4, 11-6 Run, 3-1 G-Plays
19-9 L28 G-Plays, 24-14 Pick Run
4-1 L5 NBA Selections
6-1 L4 Days, 13-4 L17 Selections
5-1 L6 Picks/Guarantees
6-1 Record Last 7 Picks
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2017 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 999
Mark Franco + 841
Alex Smart + 811
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 624
Chip Chirimbes + 544
Scott Rickenbach + 481
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Marc Lawrence 65 %
Michael Black 65 %
Don Anthony 63 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Alex Smart + 1049
Don Anthony + 872
Micah Roberts + 814
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1529
Alex Smart + 918
Scott Rickenbach + 629
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1026
Jimmy Boyd + 733
Chip Chirimbes + 697
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