HoopsHype France rumors

October 25, 2013 Updates
October 2, 2013 Updates

But it was the evening before the European Championship title game and it was a curious time for a visit, so Batum swung open the door to see who was standing outside his room in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Staring back at him was Tony Parker, his teammate on the French national team and one of the NBA's premier point guards. Batum's friend wanted to chat. "I had messed up in the semifinals — had a baaaad game — and he came to me before the final," Batum said, recalling the unexpected face-to-face. "He said, 'Tomorrow's game is going to be your game. We need you. If we're going to win, you've got to lead us.' When a guy like that comes to you, before the biggest game of your life, and says 'you have to show the way, you have to be the man,' it gives you a lot of confidence." Oregonian

Before Batum knew it, he was meeting throngs of giddy fans in French airports, visiting France's president, Francois Hollande, and preparing to fly back to Portland for the NBA season. And as he flew across the globe last week to start his sixth season with the Trail Blazers, Batum brought more than that shiny gold medal back with him. He brought a new purpose. A new perspective. A new resolve. Parker and that championship may have just changed the Blazers' small forward forever. Oregonian

September 30, 2013 Updates
September 29, 2013 Updates

Alexis Ajinca will continue with SIG Strasbourg next season. The center informed the team about his decision to stay and make a good season in Euroleague in order to increase his possibilities to find an NBA contract next summer. His words: "I think it's important to stay with Vincent Collet, the coach of Strasbourg and here in France. I'll find a team in the NBA when the time comes. If I do a good season, especially in the Euroleague, I should find it next year. Then we will see what will happen" Sportando

September 25, 2013 Updates
September 24, 2013 Updates

So when Team France and Parker captured EuroBasket gold recently, Popovich was quick to shower Parker with praise and say just how proud he is of the All-Star guard. "After the Finals (against Lithuania), I told him two things," says "Pop." "First, I'm incredibly happy for you because it puts you on another level to help your country win is more special than you. Now have a special place in the history of French sports. Secondly, I told him how proud I was of his development." ProjectSpurs.com

Alex Oriakhi's future with CSP Limoges is at risk. The rookie, selected in the 2013 NBA draft by the Suns with the 57th overall pick, is struggling to adapt to French basketball. "Since he arrived in the team, he had problems to adapt to our system" said the coach of Limoges, Dupraz. "His performances are starting to be worrisome because of his offset on both sides of the field" added the coach. "Oriakhi on the block to leave? Let's think about that. I told him we would give time to adapt and we did. Now we know what we have, we don't know what we'll find" ended Dupraz. Sportando

September 23, 2013 Updates

Parker said in the press conference following that game that France were playing like “tapettes” during a first half in which they trailed by double-digits. The world translates into loosely into fairy or fag, according to various online dictionaries. He apologized for the comment at a later press conference: “I’d like to apologize to the gay community. I did not want to offend them. If I have offended the gay community, I apologize. It was not my intention at all. It is not right to say what I said I’m sorry. And apologize.” San Antonio Express-News

Three months earlier, Parker had lunch with Pau Gasol in a Barcelona restaurant while in town to shoot a commercial. They shared personal tales, but also reminisced about how often their paths had crossed, in the NBA and on the international stage. In particular, he confessed his frustration to the Los Angeles Lakers forward over how he, and Spain, had been the chief barrier to French ambitions of a first-ever major championship during the past decade. "I told Pau, he's the reason why I keep coming every year and keep pushing my team," Parker said. "It's like the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls. You keep losing, you get closer. ESPN.com

"Man, 13 years and I'm still chasing. It's because of you." That's how long Parker and Boris Diaw had been pursuing this goal, a gold to match the one they won together in the Under-18 European Championships. "Step by step, that's the normal way," Diaw said. "It's tough overnight to get the gold. That's what we've been doing for 10 years. We got better and better. First we got the bronze. Then the silver." And now this. ESPN.com

September 22, 2013 Updates
September 21, 2013 Updates

In addition, JSF Nanterre could make another adjustment in its roster: Travis Leslie, whose profile does not fully fit with the expectations of the staff, could leave the team. "Travis does not fit quite the profile that we wanted. This is not a problem about his game, but a profile problem that does not allow us today to be where we want to be," explained Nanterre head coach Pascal Donnadieu. Catch and Shoot

Two possessions later, Parker drove right into traffic, into the hands of Rodriguez. Off went Calderon, into the corner, a shot curling through the air, as the buzzer prepared to sound. Collet, like everyone, just watched and gasped. "You just hope," he thought. "For sure, we could lose it." But this time, they did not. When overtime ended, the weight of past failure was lifted off French shoulders. Mickael Gelabale offered Diaw a high five. Not enough, he thought. The pair embraced. And then, as a team, they went into a huddle, as Spanish heads bowed around them. Diaw spoke up. "Yes," he said, "be happy we're going to the final. But now we've got one more important game." For a few minutes, before thoughts turned to Lithuania, they soaked up the moment and savored the slaying of their nemesis. And why not? "We finally beat this team," Batum smiled. "This team have given us so many nightmare, breaking our dream every time. We wanted this win, we wanted this game. We finally did it." ESPN.com

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