French star Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs says the road to a first European basketball title was an unbelievable journey and he wouldn’t change anything in how the successful script was written.
Parker and the French team won their first major basketball trophy Sunday with an 80-66 victory over Lithuania in the final of the European championship in Slovenia.
Parker was named tournament Most Valuable Player after scoring 32 points in a 75-72 overtime victory over defending champion Spain in the semifinals.
Two years ago, France lost to Spain in the EuroBasket final, 98-85, in Lithuania. Parker says he had much support in winning the gold medal this time around.
He gave special credit to France’s coaching staff led by Vincent Collet. The 31-year-old Parker lifted the EuroBasket trophy about three months after the Spurs lost to the defending champion Miami Heat in a hard-fought, seven game NBA Finals.
In Parker’s words, “Coach Collet takes care of my body. He doesn’t kill me with two practices a day. He knows that I’ll show up when it’s a big game.”
Tony Parker definitely showed up for EuroBasket 2013. He averaged almost 20 points a game during the tournament, tops among all scorers.