May 15, 2012; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) and forward Tim Duncan (21) prior to game one of the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers at the AT
Tony Parker was 10 years old when the Dream Team galvanized the entire world and revolutionized basketball internationally. Suffice to say, it probably had a profound effect on Parker.
Perhaps Parker would have became an elite player anyway but the exposure that basketball received in Barcelona had to play an instrumental role in the success of players like Manu Ginobili and Dirk Nowitzki.
On that note, Parker listed his seven man Dream Team for the French site L’Equipe (via Basket Session.)
Starting for Parker’s team at power forward is Tim Duncan. This isn’t surprising as they have cultivated a potent combination that delivered the San Antonio Spurs three NBA championships. Duncan’s presence allowed Parker to slowly evolve from unabashed point guard with one gear into an efficient pick-and-roll point guard that can run any offense and knock down mid-range jumpers to keep defenders guessing.
Rounding out the starting lineup is Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Shaquille O’Neal. Kobe Bryant (Parker remains adamant that he is the best player in the NBA for some inexplicable reason) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would come off the bench in Parker’s dream scenario.
And while Ginobili isn’t as talented as the aforementioned players (and assuming Parker’s hypothetical rules allow him to cull international players), one could legitimately argue that he would be an excellent fit on a roster with a bevy of scorers. Ginobili’s passing would augment an absolutely deadly second unit and allow Parker to justify loading his bench with dominant scorers.
Oh, and LeBron James would presumably be a nice addition to any theoretical basketball team.