Tony Parker is better at owning a team than probably half of NBA owners



Photo credit: krispeac

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.

  • ZeusVizzle

    Hahaha — a case of Lonestar? Hilarious!

    Sort of reminds me of Chris Sheridan’s blog, who went from downtown condo writing at ESPN to makeshift tent at his current blog. But I’d write for a living just off of Lonestar and a tent anyway. Find a lady crazy enough to join you and you got it made, Mr. McNeill.

    Anyway, one question: Do you think this whole ordeal gets resolved by Sunday? There’s been enough optimism in these past talks –specifically, coming to within a few percentage points of the BRI to satisfy both parties — to deduce a future agreement being in the works. What are the birds of twitterland suggesting? What do you think?

  • Andrew A. McNeill

    At this point, I have no idea what’s going to happen. I don’t know which reports to believe. So instead, I’m going hope for the best and see what happens. Also, buy a fresh bottle of whiskey.

  • Brian Augustine

    “will even play”.  Interesting info, thanks for posting.

  • imwithstupid

    Wish I got paid in Lonestars….. :-(

  • Anonymous

    Andrew, you know there’s a 12 step program for your drinking problem, right? I agree with the article.

  • Goldfish

    One interesting part of the new ASVEL team: it is very young. I think Tony expected to lead them at the beginning of the season (TP was in contact by key part of the lockout negotiation and intelligent people at the spurs).
    Just like the french national team this summer, he hopes to get a team leader role and get the players around him better – rather than just being the best and main scorer as in past years. (and he hopes to make so dough for sure)
    This is quite an evolution and I just wish it will translate some more to the Spurs environment. Anyone who saw him play defense and involve his teammates while still taking his share of the scoring with the french NT could not be satisfied with average D and just-to-do-what-im-told attitude.
    If the spurs can get back the leader of the french national team TP when season starts (rather than last year’s playoff TP), it will be very well worth the risk.

  • Mark B.

    A case of Lone Star a week?  Sweet!  Where can I sign up?

  • Jesse Blanchard

    You get paid a case of Lone Star a week?! I’m getting gipped!

  • Anonymous

    Just an interesting note, totally unrelated, NBA player rankings on ESPN are coming out atm and it’s funny to note that both Manu & Tim are in the top 20, while Parker was at 27/8 I think. Tim ranked ahead of guys like Aldridge, Bosh, Garnett, Marc Gasol, Noah, Bynum… etc.It’s good to see that they appreciate what Tim still brings to the table and not solely looking at his ppg. Still one of the best defensive bigs in the league and one of the best passers. Both will probably be in the 15-20 range.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Unrelated to to the article but here’s a little RR.

  • DorieStreet

    Tony is rated the #28th player in the league by Network collaberation.

    Players picked at 21-25 were released earlier today. Manu and Time were not listed.

    I predict both will be in the next two groups of 5—either both in the 16-20 slot, or Duncan in the 16-20 and Ginobili in the 11-15 group.

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