Remember that stupid lockout? (Yeah, we all do.) The imminent lockout — which was supposed to last the entire year, remember? — led to a number of NBA players leaving to play overseas.
One of those players was Tony Parker, who signed with Asvel Villeurbanne, a premier French team. Not only did Parker enjoy the perks of playing, he also received a considerable amount of power — the title of Vice President of Basketball Operations.
Of course, Parker’s front office responsibilities remained second to his responsibility as a player. Now that the NBA is back in full swing, though, he’s ready to make a concerted effort as VP. He’s been increasingly bold this week, declaring yesterday that Team USA isn’t “unbeatable.”
Today Parker explained the team’s recent additions, adding that the goal will be to finish amongst the top eight in ASVEL’s respective group (via Basket News.) That’s a bold aspiration considering Villeurbanne finished the season with a 13-17 record, good for 12th in a pool of 16 teams.
“We wanted to take French players who (have) sound values as Paccelis Morlende, Amara Sy, Georgi Joseph and Uche Nsonwu,” Parker said. “I was happy Amara agreed to end his career at Asvel. It’s a big signing for us. Uche … also loves the club.
We try to build a cohesive team with players who want to stay Asvel. This season, the goal will be to find the top eight.”
Parker has been weaned on an excellent organizational structure and will attempt to replicate the success he’s experienced in San Antonio. His team is currently rebuilding as they’ve lost key players Leo Westermann (Partizan Belgrande) and Kim Tillie (Murcia).
Asvel isn’t a threat — yet. But with their new pieces, who will flush the team with youth, they may be better equipped to fulfill Parker’s goal.
Besides, he’s learned from the best.
Photo courtesy of Sports Strategies