Bill Simmons interviews Tony Parker

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During NBA All-Star Weekend, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker took some time to sit down with Grantland’s Bill Simmons to talk about a myriad of things. The best part, though, has to be Parker telling Simmons the story of how he was about to be drafted by the Boston Celtics — he even had the draft hat in hand — before the Celtics changed their minds and went with Joseph Forte instead.

The entire interview is very good and definitely worth your 13+ minutes.

(H/T to Beckley Mason for the find.)

  • idahospur

    I like how he admits he has no “allegiance” to France but still plays for the national team.

  • http://twitter.com/SpursBorg SpursBorg

    I’m thankful for Red Auerbach. He made Bill Russell a head coach and drafted Joe Forte instead of Tony!

  • PR_Spur

    Awesome

  • Andrew G

    He’s so freaking classy. He would’ve been a good lawyer. He knows the right thing to say.

  • Andrew G

    This is a great example of the culture Pop has fostered in San
    Antonio. People will always point to Phil Jackson as a great coach and
    his triangle offense, but it can’t be recreated. You can tell just by
    the way Tony speaks of Tim and Manu, and the way they approach their
    offense as a three headed monster –not relying on one great player’s
    skill sets in addition to a couple of role players– that the system can
    be recreated at any organization, but more importantly (and as we’ve
    seen this season when he had the flu, and past seasons from ejections)
    that Pop is leaving something for the next guy.

    The 1999 Bulls
    (the first year after Jackson), the Bulls go 17-65 (granted, they didn’t
    have Jordan), and 15-67 in 2000. For two years after Jackson (while the
    team is still retaining Kobe’s talents), the Lakers are already on
    their second coach and fighting to stay above .500 for the season.
    Albeit the Spurs’ sample size without Pop is significantly smaller, but
    I’d bet good money that the first two seasons without Pop will see the
    Spurs easily making the playoffs, and making it past our first round
    opponent in fewer than 7 games.

    Pop isn’t doing anything
    particularly unique, he’s simply building competent players that can
    think for themselves when on the floor, not building around a scheme
    that only he can institute. That is why Parker (and the others if they
    want) will become a damn fine head coach after he retires. We saw it
    with Avery Johnson (he took the Mavs to the championship), and we will
    see it with Parker. That should be Pop’s legacy –building a culture
    that will continue to succeed, even in his absence– more so than the
    rings decorating his hand.

  • http://twitter.com/festav Vittorio Festa

    Thiago, Spanish? In Brazil they speak Portuguese!

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