HoopsHype.com Interviews

Tony Parker: "I could have never dreamt of this"
by Jesus Carro / June 9, 2003 - Quotes Game 3

Did you ever dream of the possibility of playing the NBA Finals in your second year in the league?

Tony Parker: That's impossible. I could have never dreamt of this. I would have never believed it, considering there are players in my team that have played 19 years in this league and have never been in the Finals. So this is great. I think it's a blessing for me.

Everybody is talking about your matchup with Jason Kidd. What's the difference between playing against Kidd and the rest of the point guards in the NBA?

TP: Playing against Kidd is really tough because he can do a lot of different things. He can rebound, pass the ball, score, push the ball on the break or post you up thanks to his size. He does it all and does it well. There is a big difference because of that -- because he can do anything his team needs him to do.

And what's the difference between playing the point in Europe and in the NBA? It looks like you've adjusted easily in just a couple of years.

TP: Well, in Europe you basically just have to execute the play, the system and make it work. It's much slower. Everything is much faster and physical here. So you have to be able to do a lot more things to succeed.

How difficult has the transition been for you?

TP: I've been lucky because I play in a team where there are a lot of veterans and I fit in well with them. Those guys know a lof about the game, where to be and what to do. I'm just a piece of the puzzle that supports the superstars -- an addition that helps the team.

Was it hard to get the respect of those veterans?

TP: Sure it was. It's hard at the beginnnig. Specially getting the respect from Timmy, because it's not very common for a European guard to come here and adjust quickly. But it is all about working hard and playing hard so that you can earn the respect of everybody day-to-day.

Jesus Carro is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com

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