Tony Parker is better at owning a team than probably half of NBA owners
Tony Parker cares not for your lockout, NBA owners. Tony Parker is going to get paid. Not directly, of course, but just by his mere presence. In France.
With the fogginess of the lockout still laying low and thick, the Spurs’ point guard decided to sign himself to a contract with the French team he owns, ASVEL, for about $2000 a month. From a front office perspective, it’s a shrewd business move that is still making Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver’s head spin.
As most people have pointed out, the contract money that Parker stands to make is nothing compared to the revenues his team will generate when/if he plays games for his team.
It’s like if I became a well-paid, well-known NBA writer (not gonna happen) for ESPN or someone else, but decide to hire myself to write at 48 Minutes of Hell for a case of Lonestar a week, which is actually my current deal at 48MoH.
The thing is, we don’t know if Tony Parker will every play a game for ASVEL. The start of the NBA season has yet to be cancelled, though it is in jeopardy. We’ll find out Sunday or Monday, when David Stern said announcement must be made regarding the first couple of weeks of 2011-12. If the owners and players reach a deal to save the full 82 game season, Tony Parker doesn’t play a game for his French team.
The effect is there, though. Just the publicity he’s generating for his team is huge. Raise your hand if you had heard more than a brief mention of ASVEL before this week. I had no idea their colors were green and black. I have a strong suspicion that kryptonite colored Tony Parker jerseys are on sale in France right now and ticket sales have been on the uptick since he got his model pose on. The day or two of publicity Parker’s announcement got probably made more money for the team that his entire season salary would be if he played the full year in France (Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen).
And for the Spurs, their concern is minuscule. They’re worried about possible burnout and TP getting hurt, which could happen anywhere. Even an HEB commercial shoot. With training camp already having waived goodbye weeks ago and preseason gone too, there will be little preparation time once the owners and players work out their differences, so the minutes that Parker played in Eurobasket are worth the risk. He’ll be in good shape when he gets back to San Antonio, which isn’t guaranteed for anybody during a lockout.