If you have been able to catch the Las Vegas Summer League games you know it’s not just about the game as it is being played. There are all kind of sports legends walking around watching, making deals, and hoping to hone in some aspect of their team.
In recent games Jerry West (“The Logo”) has been seen. Carmelo Anthony was pressing the flesh during the Spurs/Rockets game. And just a few days back, Tony Parker sat with the commentators during a Spurs game.
Steve Smith was calling the Spurs second Las Vegas Summer League game last Sunday and made a comment that Tony Parker had not attended a Summer League game since he played in one before his first season in the NBA.
Parker was in attendance scouting for his French team and sat with the Smith (who won the 2003 Finals together) and discussed his ownership of LNB Pro A, his time in the NBA, and his Summer League experience.
I’m doing great. Body feels great, that’s the best thing about retirement.
On his attendance at the Las Vegas Summer League:
We just won a championship in France, three-peat, third team in history to do that with my brother who is the head coach.
When Boris Diaw’s name was just mentioned:
I don’t know where Boris is, I have no idea.. Boris is the GM of the national team most of the time he’s on his boat somewhere in the world.
When asked about the Spurs three of nineteen-year-old guards (Primo, Branham, and Wesley):
I have no idea what we are doing as a franchise so I can't wait for my dinner with Coach Pop...and catch up on the team...we have a very. very young roster. I don't know 75% of the team and I am in the basketball world.
On scouting for France:
I was talking with my scouts because obviously we here too to scout for Europe. My team plays in the EuroLeague, the EuroLeague is the second best league in the world. And so we have a lot of good talent we can find in the Summer League.
On his first Summer League experience with the Spurs:
My first Summer League game, I remember I was with Mike Brown who is with the Warriors now, and I was looking in the stands during warm up and I was like, “where is Coach Pop?” and I went to Mike Brown and I was like, “Where’s Coach Pop? He’s not here?” and Mike was like “you know Pop doesn’t come to Summer League and I was kind of mad because I was like — if I have a chance to be a point guard for the Spurs I need a head coach to see me play. So I remember my first game I scored 29 points. Second game, I looked and he was right there. Coach Pop was there so I looked with Mike Brown, oh, now he’s coming.”
On his first season with the San Antonio Spurs:
It was tough my first couple of years. I had great vets — you (Steve Smith), David Robinson, Steve Kerr. Everybody was so patient with me that gave me confidence to grow, even if Pop was going all crazy on me, I was lucky to have you and all the vets to be positive. And I was positive, and my second year in the league we won the championship.
On staying healthy and the Spurs program:
With the Spurs they do a good job...we have a great program...for longevity..to take care of your body...the Spurs take it very seriously...even in the summer when I was playing with the national team, they would send me Spurs people to make sure I was doing the right stuff to stay in shape.
On starting out in the NBA so young and as the first European point guard:
It was great coming in, there was a lot of great point guards — Gary Payton was still playing, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, there was a lot of point guards., I had to be ready. It was a big challenge, every night, that’s what I love about the NBA, you compete against the best and I wanted to be one of the best. And so it was a great platform to showcase your talent.
Summer League is place to catch some of the game’s elite hanging out and watching games with the players who are now considered the sport’s future. More to come from Las Vegas.
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