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