Following a remarkable regular season, the San Antonio Spurs saw their dream of winning a fifth NBA championship come to an end when they fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.
After having swept the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Spurs were not able to overcome Kevin Durant and the young and talented Thunder squad.
Durant is a member of USA ’s preliminary squad and could meet Parker and the French nationals in the London Games.
While they weren’t able to reach the NBA Finals, some of the Texas-based team players had incredible seasons, perhaps none more so than the Spurs point guard and French national team star Tony Parker.
Parker led his team in scoring and assists, and finished fifth in the Most Valuable Player voting.But for one of the all-time best international players, there is something to look forward to. Alongside Spurs teammate Boris Diaw, Portland Trail Blazers' Nicolas Batum and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls, Parker will try to help the French national team collect a medal at this summer's London Games.After reaching the Final of EuroBasket 2011 to qualify the team for London, Parker will fulfil his dream of playing in the Olympics.
FIBA.com caught up with Parker to reflect on his season and talk about his Olympic dream.
FIBA: Tony, your team was eliminated in the Western Conference Finals after an incredible regular season. What are your thoughts about the season?
Parker: We had an incredible regular season. We played very good basketball all season long and we got to the playoffs feeling very confident. We had two very good first rounds against the Utah Jazz and the LA Clippers, but we failed in the Conference Finals by losing to Oklahoma City. I’m very disappointed because our goal was to win the NBA title, but we lost against to an incredible team.
FIBA: Do you think you had one of your best NBA seasons individually?
Parker: I think that I had a great season, but I don’t really know if that was my best so far because we didn’t win the title. However, I’m very satisfied with the way I played these last few months. I was selected to the All-Star Game and I finished fifth in the MVP voting. The balance is pretty positive but most important to me is winning titles with my team.
FIBA: Now you will lead the French national team in London this summer. What does playing in the Olympics represent for you?
Parker: For me, it’s a huge accomplishment. I’m so proud to go to the Olympics and represent my country. It’s a dream come true. I remember when I was a young kid, while watching the Dream Team play in the 1992 Olympics, I said to myself, “I want to play in the Olympics.” Now, I have the opportunity to take part in this competition. That’s incredible for my teammates and I.
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