If Tony Parker is going to play anywhere overseas during the NBA lockout, it’s going to be his native France. after a Les Bleus exhibition in London on Tuesday.
that Parker was in discussions to play in China should the lockout linger. Though Parker acknowledged informal talks with teams in China, he says his focus is on France, where he is part owner of the French League powerhouse ASVEL.
He tells ESPN.com he won’t make a decision about a lockout landing spot until after the Eurobasket tournament ends in September. A lot will depend on his health.
“I want to see if I’m healthy, if I’m hurt and by then we will also know a lot more what is happening with the situation of the lockout,” Parker said. ”If I play (abroad), I will definitely play in France, for my fans, for my team, ASVEL.”
Parker is one of a handful of NBA stars to have his name linked with China. The most notable is Kobe Bryant, the Lakers’ former MVP.
Due to wrangling with the Chinese Basketball Association, which is seeking to prohibit NBA players coming to that nation on a rental basis during the lockout, Parker says “it looks like China is not going to happen for any players.”
Speaking of his lockout plans, Parker said, “it’s more an emotional decision.”
“It’s not enough for me just to play for the money, stuff like that, because I am a student of the game,” Parker said. “I am passionate about the game. It would be great for my family, my friends, to see me in France.”