In January, San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker told a French radio station that he would likely pass on the Summer Olympics due to the pending birth of his second son.
But in a surprising turn of events, Parker now says he’ll compete in the Olympic qualifiers and the Olympic games (via L’Equipe):
“We talked a lot with Axelle and we agreed. She knows how it's important to me. And so yes, I'll be there for TQO and I will be in the Olympics if you qualify. I want to play for France. We evaluated all the situations and I've made my decision.”
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Parker’s wife is expected to deliver their second child in late July. The official Games begin Aug. 6 in Brazil, and France’s qualifying tournament begins July 4 in the Philippines. So if all goes according to plan, Parker should be able to have his cake and eat it too.
The 33-year-old point guard is averaging his fewest points since he was a rookie, but his True Shooting percentage is well above his career average. He’s healthy, effective and remains one of San Antonio’s most important offensive threats.
The Spurs can’t be too thrilled about this development, though. Parker understandably wants to play for his home country — it’s likely his last opportunity to do so. But he has two more years on his contract in San Antonio, and if he gets hurt playing basketball for a different team thousands of miles away, it should put a sour taste in Gregg Popovich’s mouth.