Most foreign born NBA players eagerly compete for their national teams during events throughout the NBA offseason. San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker of France, is no different.
Parker has been in Slovenia competing for France during EuroBasket. His team’s general manager, R.C. Buford, has been there as well. Buford and the front office support their players playing overseas and even show up at some of their games in order to show their support.
“I take a lot of pride playing for France,” Parker said. “I’m just happy that I have the Spurs organization to let me do that.”
Throughout the tournament, Buford has watched Parker and seems upset about the way he’s being used. Buford wants Parker to play less minutes in international play.
“I saw R.C.,” Parker told Mark Woods of ESPN.com. “He wants me to play less minutes to be ready for the Spurs next season. But I have a great relationship with the Spurs. I’m very lucky to have R.C. and Coach Pop to let me play for my country. They know that I love playing for my country.
It’s easy to understand Buford’s concern. The Spurs were mere seconds (and a made free throw) away from defeating the Miami Heat and claiming yet another championship in game six of last year’s NBA Finals.