Tony Parker doesn’t know how to contend for a title without a healthy Tim Duncan

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The negatives that come with writing about a team which failed to progress as far in the playoffs as you planned center around the lack of inspiration for writing. The trade scenarios are limited, cap space for a free agent is sparse, and the team has a bad pick in a worse draft. Oh, and we may not start the season on time in the fall.

Instead, we’re left with using various quotes from many of the San Antonio Spurs as fertilizer for content over a long summer.

This post is no different.

Translations travelled around the internet on Wednesday of Tony Parker offering his opinion that the Spurs are no longer contenders for the NBA championship. He said that he stated at the beginning of the season he thought this would be their last year as contenders. But with the aging process taking its toll on Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, and the NBAs young teams getting better, Parker no longer sees San Antonio as contenders.

Personally, Parker’s quote doesn’t surprise me. For one, I was there on media day when he said that this past season was their last shot at a title. For him to say otherwise now would undermine the honesty he’s shown publicly.

I can see people wanting him to lie and say something to the effect of if Timmy’s got a pulse, we’ve got a shot. Not me, though. I appreciate him saying what he truly believes, for better or worse.

Parker’s not saying he won’t go out and play hard next season. He didn’t say that the Spurs wouldn’t do their damnedest to to try and win a title. He simply said that they’re good, but not good enough at this point. You can’t consider his Spurs — a team that’s won 16 playoff games since they last won a title in 2007 (with nine of those wins coming in 2008) — contenders for next year’s NBA title.

Parker entered the NBA in 2001 when Duncan had already won an NBA Finals and was nearing the height of his powers. Parker won three championships since with Duncan serving as the focal point of the team, both offensively and defensively.

You can forgive Parker for not thinking of the Spurs as contenders with Duncan getting older. As far as Parker has experienced, the only way he’s ever won a title is with Duncan as the main cog. Tony Parker knows nothing else.

TP has yet to see a way that the Spurs have challenged for an NBA title without Duncan close to his dominating prime. And as Parker watches Duncan deteriorate physically game after game and season after season, the championship window in his head shuts and locks; the blinds lowered, curtains drawn closed. All that’s left is to turn out the light.

(H/T to Bruno at SpursTalk for the translation of the interview)

  • Nima K.

    What a relief you dont control the destiny of the Spurs. Thank You God! 

  • Nima K.
  • Nima K.

    I also dont think Tony’s remarks were targeted to the general public or fan base. Neither was it just a mere opinion he was giving.

    I think he was actually addressing his comments to the FO.

    C’mon RC, show us what u got. Perform another miracle. Dont let us become playoff fodder for the next 2-3 yrs.

  • Lvmainman

    Tony Parker spoke the truth. The Spurs as currently put together do NOT have one more Championship run in them. Win 50 games? Sure. Make playoffs? Sure. Win a championship? No chance.
     
    They need to concentrate on a plan to go after both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. 

    Trade Parker/Jefferson for Paul/Okafor. Hope Howard gets to free agency without being traded. Use Okafor as a sign and trade chip.

    Spurs might get helped with amnesty after the lockout.

    Players like Rashard Lewis might want to be a Spur when released after amnesty.

  • Lvmainman

    The more I think about it, amnesty after the lockout might be the best path to improvement for the Spurs.

    Rashard Lewis, Brandon Roy, Elton Brand, Ben Gordon, Andris Biedrins, Jose Calderon might be interested in becoming Spurs. 

    Rashard Lewis would be the best fit. That way Bonner could be a trade chip. 

  • Sam

    hmm are you sure? They’ve been looking for a pg to push them over the hump for a long time.  

  • Titletown99030507d

    Way off. Any real basketball analyst or evaluator of ability would tell you lenght in the front court has an advantage will bring more success than someone that keeps getting ate up on the court because of lack of size. You keep Splitter and let Blair fly. Plain and simple. I don’t think someone who can’t make a shot under the rim and keeps getting scored on with clear view of the basket is worth keeping over someone who is blocking the opponents view of the rim and plays better defense add the fact that he’s the best PNR guy on the team. Easy points if only the rest of the team will include him. There’s no argument here Splitter over an unimproving Blair.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I would like to see Oden here also if Riley wants to move Bosh if Miami don’t win it all we would be more than happy to give them Blair, Bonner, and Rj for him. Good for both sides. Oden and Bosh nice pieces for this team.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I like him and Enes Kanter. Yeah I would give up Blair, Hill and a pick for one of those two . I have a feeling JA is going to be playing more than Hill next season anyway if you consider Hill a 2 Guard. JA and Splitter have something to prove next season. This will be both those guys break out season next season if there’s one.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Were getting too much in that trade. Portland wouldn’t do it but I would. And I like Tony. 

  • Titletown99030507d

    Why would we want a 32 year old in Lewis even if he gets amnesty.

  • Titletown99030507d

    One break coming up! (VH) Sorry but these Spurs aren’t running anymore the way you saw them early in the season. Not with Tim, Tony, and Manu another year older. That’s out the window how do you think they ran out of gas at the end of the season. So evident. Pop realized too late that the slowed down grind it out  front court play that won us 4 trophies is the the way to go. And RJ don’t fit that mold that’s why I was surprised he couldn’t with this line up when Sean did so well with his line up.

  • Digiphoto45

     More like two other 7 footers. Mavs have three 7 footers and one  6-11 front court man and look where there at. Timmy, Splitter, plus two other 7 footers. Move Blair and Bonner somehow or we’ll be seeing the same thing next season.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4UKVFK3K5O4DHFRT5W2I4JIG3I Justin

    I agree that Bibby sucks, but the Heat have enough ballhandlers and firepower on the wings.  As I said, Lebron and Wade both have a VERY high usage rate (ranked 4th and 5th in the league respectively).  Tony would hardly ever see the ball and we all know he isn’t worth a damn playing off the ball.  They need a Bynum or Howard kind of player who can control the middle.  Bosh and Joel Anthony (even though he’s a good defender) really aren’t big enough.  If we could get Bosh for Tony and a youngster, then I’d be all for it.  However, I just doubt Miami would make this move.

  • Colin Rigney

    “Unfortunately for Tim, he stayed lazy in offseasons a little too long” 

    “However, just looking at the structure of his body clearly demonstrates that he is not working hard in the offseason.”

    You’re clueless!!!!!!! 

     

  • Colin Rigney

    “Give RJ a break”

    Too late for that.  He needs to go.  He has proven that when it counts, he shies away and can’t be counted on.  RJ has the ability to create his own shot when needed whether the pace is sped up or not.  RJ doesn’t have the mental capacity to stay in the game when he is needed most. 

  • Bob

     I couldn’t agree more. Along the line Popovich’s mentality changed to where he thought they needed more offense over defense to win. Some of it made sense because they were aging but they FO should have been looking for defense. They brought in Jefferson and they started using Bonner more. I think if they can keep and improve the offense as well as focus on defense they can be a contender again. I am glad the Grizz series convince Pop they weren’t going anywhere without getting better defensively. He seemed to accept the mediocre defense during the season. It’s sad it took a wasted season for him to realize they need better defensive balance.

  • tony montana

     I love the spurs, but I think Tony Parker is a joke with what he said about his team. How does that make the rest of the team feel. Parker won the MVP award in 2007 by playing hard Duncan didn’t help him. You don’t put your team down like that. The spurs have a chance to win the title again just like any other team. just they have the experience and heart to do it.

  • Zeus Villarreal

     I honestly don’t think we need much to reach the Finals for next season. RJ did disappoint and so did the unreliable Matt Bonner, but we just need to another big to add to the length of Duncan and Splitter. We have enough guard-play to suffice surpassing 50-plus wins next year, however the key to being relevant contenders is health. Not age. We have enough sage players to win it all, but we just got out-hustled, out-muscled and out-lucked by the Grizzlies–I say out-lucked because all it took was one final horrid stretch of injuries to cause our demise.

    But, that being said, we should look forward to what Buford and Co. can do: A viable option to adding length at our draft position is Nikola Vucevic, who was the tallest and 2nd heaviest player at the Combine last week. He averaged 17 ppg and 10 rbg for USC and has a smooth low-post game and an outside jumper, basically the antithesis to DeJuan Blair..

    Another risky option (which is exactly what we need, especially given the prospect’s past credentials and current measurements) is Jeremy Tyler, who as once ranked as the number one pick in this year’s draft. He’s been training with Bob Hill (former Spurs coach. Coincidence?) and I feel he could gain the tutelage of Duncan in order to mold him from uninformed high school dropout to a mentored rising star. He just needs to put the entire package together, but his length and athleticism could be used while he figures things out.

    I think if Da’Sean Butler is a viable option at the 3 and pans out like we hope he would, Pop can move James Anderson back to the 2 where he could sub in for Manu and dispell him of much meaningless, injury-prone minutes. With Danny Green, and to a lesser-extent George Hill–whose court time at the 2 should be reduced for Anderson’s sake–we should be set at the guard-forward departments. We just really need to find a big piece of our frontline via draft or free agency. Luck, however, would be needed in either circumstance.

  • MSteele_in_Éire

    haha I find it funny how some people think we can turn 3 sub par role players into an All-Star Forward. It’s not good for Miami, in fact that would be a disastrous trade for Miami. They already have the best wing players in the league and they need defense, size and rebounding, which isn’t provided from anything we’ve offered

  • MSteele_in_Éire

    I’ve only seen video of the guy but what about David Lighty out of Ohio State. He’s 6’7 in shoes with a 6’8 wingspan but he’s been compared a Bruce Bowen by a lot of scouts, with his tireless defense. He’s likely to be a second round pick so if we moved up in the second round we could get him. 

  • spursfanbayarea

     Rumors of brandon jennings unhappy in milwakee. bogut and jennings for parker,blair and two first rounder. 

  • manufan

    I would take that even if we give up Hill in the process. Anyway, they owe us one for that horrible RJ trade.

  • manufan

    I would take that even if we give up Hill in the process. Anyway, they owe us one for that horrible RJ trade.

  • DorieStreet

    Looking at the other name in the article’s title- Tim Duncan. Depending on the improvement (i.e. Splitter) and the aquisition of more frontcourt players, is Tim’s time on the court reduced even more next season? In addition to not playing in back-to-back games (they were 17 pairings last season) he is held out an additional 8-10 contests. A schedule could be set where he DNPs 2 games in each of the 5 whole months (November- March). That would have Tim playing in only 2/3 of the games. And he could start out just putting in 20-22 minutes maximum through the allstar break.

  • Titletown99030507d

    As a fan I’m glad what Tony said . It’s just being realistic and since he’s going to be here longer than the other two of the core three he wants to make sure there’s a real plan in place to get better now not just blowing the next two years because we owe it to Tim and Manu thus using up what ever youth Tony has left in the process. As a business they don’t owe nothing to them. They have gotten paid well and just like any business if your not producing at the level you used to then they find someone that can. That’s life. But the only thing keeping the FO from say moving them is there history. so in this case this FO may be loyal to Tim and Manu. As a fan I’m torn. I want changes now but the only way they will come is at the expense of Tim or Manu or both to really rebuild the way this organization needs to. We know that wont happen. What can we get for Tim and Manu anyway at this point? Were stuck for two years in mediocre limbo. Let me say I love Manu and Tim but as painful for what I’m about to say its reality that Tim and Manu are slowing down at an exponential rate at this point. It’s not linear anymore. At this point next season in basketball life they could very well be at a crawl. It’s sad but we’ll see it. Before Manu re up his contract last year he said he could play another 5 – 6 years. Man that goes to show that your brain is willing but your body thinks otherwise. Oh well let’s trade someone else and that someone else could probably involve Tony. How ironic.

  • GUESSWHO

    Honestly this is a weak draft. In  my mind the Spurs need to either move up in the draft and REALLY PRAY that Singleton falls into their laps because that guy is the closest thing to a perimeter defensive stopper we could really find at this point. Either that or we draft Jajuan Johson who brings athleticism that is desperately needed in our front court. Honestly theirs a lot of bigs on peoples mock drafts that are going late into the first round that each bring a different skill set that the Spurs could really use. All I know is that if we draft another Euro player that can’t come anytime soon, then im gonna go shoot myself -_-.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Winning starts in the front court. That is the starting foundation for a successful team. You can’t expect to win with a point guard and forgetting about the necessity  of your front court. Before you even think about winning anything you need two damn good big men that are not old and can still exhibit the skills to dominate. All the fundamentals in the world will not help you if your too old to compete against the younger competent talent. We won with Speedy Claxton but with a younger Tim Duncan and a still competent David Robinson that dominated his position in 03. Ask Steve Nash or Chris Paul if they can win without two great big men on their team. Even Jason Kidd until now because why? He has Dirk and Tyson. Even though they haven’t won anything yet they sure are giving a good go at it with that front court of theirs. Can’t blame Tony for any of this its the piss poor big man rotation that was used in the first 3 games of the playoffs by then it was too late to recover. That was so laughable to see Blair and Bonner for three damn games to get those kind of minutes during the playoffs. that was a total insult to Splitter who by the analysts said he was one of the very few bright spots of the spurs playoffs. Too bad he only played a couple games. Blame your coach for that. I would trade Pop for George Karl any day.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Another thing before any Pop lovers come to his rescue. Old geezers tend to do wacky crap as they get older. You get older and you tend to lose some of that reasoning gene that was evident in your younger years. It’s nature but really its called senility. I don’t think I can handle another year of that crazy X’s and O’s Pop has in his noggins.

  • Titletown99030507d

    But I want to know why did he always come back season after season looking like gumby? He never got buffed like DR. 

  • Titletown99030507d

    Of course it’s not but if Riley’s chucking him out the door do you think he’s going to get DHoward for him. No. But why wouldn’t he consider 3 great disciplined players from the great 61 win  game  Spurs team for one skinny dude. LOL.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Is that you TD Best Ever? 

  • Titletown99030507d

     Catch 22. Reduce him even more so Splitter can rise above or play him like he did this season and see the same outcome and Splitter is still in limbo. I choose to lower Timmy’s time and let splitter take over. Really we need two more big men other than Timmy and Splitter. I’m not including Blair and Bonner. We need to get creative and move both of them to secure at least one of those bigs via trade and get the other using Dyess’s money.

  • Anonymous

    @GUESSWHO
    +1,000   Thanks for being one of the Spurs fans that put it on record they can’t stand this practice the franchise continues to do year after year. But it doesn’t matter if it is a “weak draft” or not–many fans will say “Spurs can’t get anybody picking late in the rounds.”
    We need to stop using that as an excuse. If an NBA team wins 50+ games for a dozen straight seasons, they WILL ALWAYS get alloted slots in the lower part of the two rounds. The scouts and coaches need to work harder to find collegiate players who have the talent & basketball IQ to make and contribute to this  this squad. The answer does not always have to be found overseas. Especially if it takes 3-5 seasons to get the players over here in uniform. It is in part why the team is in this state now with a dearth of ability in the frontcourt.

  • Anonymous

    It seems that is the way to go.

  • Colin Rigney

    Different players, different genetics.  Robinson always had that body structure even at the naval academy, he just put on more of it as the seasons went on.  Duncan’s had the same body structure since his rookie season………….pretty much hasn’t changed.  Why would he need to put on more muscle?  At this point in his career it wouldn’t make any sense to undergo a change in physique.  I’m pretty sure he looked like Gumby in ’99, ’03, ’05, ’07 too.   

  • Colin Rigney

    “Seeing Blair and Bonner for three damn games to get those kind of minutes during the playoffs. that was a total insult to Splitter”Agreed…….and yes, it does make one wonder about the coach with that kind of big man rotation. 
     

  • Bruno

    In http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-mock-draft/2011/ Spurs is listed to draft two Centers.
    Looks good…But no one is ready to play….

  • Nima K.

    even if they were ready to play, Pop would sit them on the bench for a year, until they shed off their rookie year.

  • Ed

    The truth has no agenda. The Spurs lost to the team that last to the team that lost to the team that will lose the Finals. Can it be any clearer?

  • Saul77

    first off, I’m not there during practices, shoot arounds, or drills, but it still seems to me that Duncans knee is giving more problems than anyone thinks. having to run up and down the court with a knee injury (old or new) has to be bothersome.

  • just saying

    How about Tony Parker doesn’t know how to contend for a title with Bonner playing more minutes than Splitter?

  • Titletown99030507d

    At this point it sure doesn’t matter anymore. Just thought that if he did get more muscle on him when he was young (genitics-shemitics) it probably would have helped him in his older years. P90X! or the Chuck Norris machine for goodness sakes! Then maybe it could have been 99, 00, 01, 02. 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11. Just sayin.LOL.

  • Titletown99030507d

    But if he did get buffed he would have ruled the universe.

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