Parker says he’s committed to Spurs

Spurs guard Tony Parker says he didn’t make controversial comments to French reporters about his team’s inability to contend for an NBA championship.

Appearing at the Spurs summer camp at the University of the Incarnate Word on Tuesday, Parker said he remains committed to the team. He also said that the Spurs could contend for a fifth NBA title as long as he remains together with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

Despite pessimistic comments to French reporters last month in Paris, Parker was decidedly more upbeat on Tuesday.

“I’m in a great situation. I love the Spurs. I love being a Spur. I re-signed four years,” Parker said. “If I didn’t think we could win a championship, I wouldn’t have re-signed four years.”

Parker signed a four-year contract extension last October that will stretch through the end of the 2014-15 season.

While appearing before French reporters last month, Parker painted a gloomier picture of the franchise’s future shortly after the Spurs’ first-round playoff elimination by Memphis.

“I don’t think this current team will play for the title in the future,” Parker told French reporters. “We are aging. We must be realistic. It was sort of our last chance this season.”

Parker denied making those comments — even though there was video evidence of the remarks — and said they might have been blown out of proportion by the media.

He also said that questions about his loyalty to the Spurs are similarly out of line.

“I don’t have to justify anything,” Parker said. “The only thing I care (about) is Pop, Timmy, Manu and my teammates obviously.”

Parker turned 29 last month and is the youngest of the club’s “Big Three.” He said he has not talked to any team officials or coach Gregg Popovich since making his comments.

Tony Parker speaks to youngsters attending the Spurs Basketball Camp at Incarnate Word on Tuesday. (Billy Calzada/

“No, they don’t need to contact me,” Parker said, chuckling. “Pop doesn’t have time. He’s drinking wine and having fun. He doesn’t have time right now.”

The Spurs notched the best record in the Western Conference, winning the Southwest Division with a 61-21 mark. Parker said the Spurs can contend again with some help from the draft and continued development of young players such as Tiago Splitter, DeJuan Blair and George Hill.

“I think with a couple of tweaks and a couple of guys that we can improve our team and will be fine,” Parker said.

He’s not as confident about settling a potential lockout by the looming July 1 deadline.

“We don’t know what will happen,” he said. “Maybe we can find an agreement, and we won’t miss games. Hopefully, we’ll start on time.”

The lockout also could make it costly for Parker to obtain insurance to join the French national team in the European championships this summer.

The French Basketball Federation is working to obtain insurance that would enable French NBA players such as Parker, Boris Diaw and Joakim Noah to play by guaranteeing their NBA contracts.

“If there’s no insurance, obviously the Spurs are my priority,” Parker said. “If there’s no insurance, I won’t play because the Spurs are No. 1 on my list. But if I’m insured, I’ll definitely play with the national team.”

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