San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker could miss the Olympics because of the expected birth of his second son. Parker told French radio station RMC that his wife is due at the end of July, shortly after France’s Olympic qualifying tournament from July 4-10. The Olympic basketball tournament in Rio de Janeiro will be held from Aug. 6-21.
Do you still plan on playing in next summer’s Olympics? Yeah. We (Argentina) qualified this summer so we’re going to have a chance to play there (Rio). I’m very happy about that. Will it be your last go-around in the Olympics? Four years is a lot of years. I will be 36 (April 30th) at the beginning of the Olympics so that puts me at 40 for the next ones. That’s a lot of guessing. I’m just taking it year-by-year now.
DM: What did you think of the team’s trip to Rio? Obviously a great trip from the business side of things and a chance to go down to Rio, a booming market to build that Orlando Magic brand down there, but also from a team standpoint an opportunity to bond and to grow. RH: It was a great trip Dante, it really was. From start to finish, certainly the business component that you speak of was very important to us. We have a lot of fans down in Brazil and we’re hoping to continue to expand that awareness and that footprint. I think we were able to do that. And also, from a team perspective, we got a lot of good work in. It’s funny, I think it was 95 degrees in the gym we practiced in for two days, which sort of made it like an old-school high school practice. I think guys got good work in and they got to sweat it out a little bit. Certainly, when you take a trip like that, I think the guys, the players, have a chance to spend more time together than they otherwise maybe would, just because they’re forced to [laughs]. And so, from a team bonding and a team chemistry standpoint, I would say we come back to Orlando more bonded than we were when we left.
And a couple years after playing in a preseason game with the Wizards in Brazil, he was given the start against Bauru, a team based in his native state of Sao Paulo. “It was an honor,” Nene said. “We were talking about when we were little, we never imagined that kind of opportunity was going to happen. To see a Brazilian team play against an NBA team is a big honor. Not only to myself, who represents Brazil, but to the [Brazilian] nation, players, the confederation.”