Jun 12, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker speaks to the media after game four of the 2014 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Parker buys majority stake in French basketball franchise

San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker has become the majority owner and team president of French club Asvel Villeurbanne, the team announced Monday.

Based in a suburb of Lyon, Asvel Villeurbanne plays in the French Pro A league. In 2009, Parker — a native of Belgium who holds a French passport — bought a minority stake in the team, and now he’s purchased enough shares to retain a controlling interest.

As part of the agreement, Parker says that he will eventually finish his career with Asvel Villeurbanne once he’s done in San Antonio. His contract with the Spurs only runs through next season, though it’s hard to imagine that Parker would leave the NBA so early.

More likely, Parker will sign at least one more multi-year contract with the team next offseason, then consider a move back to France once that deal runs out.

The ownership of Asvel Villeurbanne isn’t just adding Parker, too. According to the All-Star point guard, a pair of former NBA stars — Michael Finley and Corey Maggette — are becoming minority owners in the club, adding even more name recognition.

During the 2013-14 season, Asvel Villeurbanne finished tied for seventh in the 16-team French Pro A with a 17-13 record. The team’s leading scorer, 24-year-old guard Edwin Jackson, is considered one of the better young players in France. During the season, Jackson averaged 18 points per game on 59 percent shooting.

Former Georgetown guard Chris Wright also plays for the team. During the 2012-13 season, Wright appeared in three games with the Dallas Mavericks, but after failing to stick on a 10-day contract, he agreed to join Asvel Villeurbanne in the fall of 2013.


Tags: San Antonio Spurs Tony Parker

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