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NBA Sunday: Parker Unheralded MVP Candidate
Posted By Lang Greene On February 17, 2013 @ 10:39 am In Main Page,NBA | No Comments
When it comes to mainstream attention, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker usually finds himself at the back of the line. Players such as Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Chicago’s Derrick Rose (when healthy), Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving have all garnered the headlines and captured fans attention as of late.
Those guys are much younger than the soon to be 31-year-old Parker and offer more visually explosive skills. But Parker possesses the championship hardware which defines legacies. Parker served as the floor general for three championship teams in San Antonio and won the Finals MVP award back in 2007.
Parker is back at it again this season as the Spurs have the league’s best record at 42-12 here at the All-Star break. Parker has been the driving force behind this season’s success averaging 20.8 points and 7.6 assists on 54 percent shooting from the field. Yet, when it comes to league MVP discussions, Parker’s name is typically omitted from the list.
But there are no complaints coming from Parker, who maintains a team-first philosophy is the sounding board in San Antonio and feels the Spurs are a better team than last season’s squad who were eliminated in the Western Conference Finals.
“I think team is everything for us,” Parker said during All-Star weekend. “Our young players are really improving. I think we’re better because our young guys have experience. Kawhi [Leonard] was a rookie last year and Danny [Green] was in his second year, his first year really playing. All that experienced they gained from the playoffs is really helping us. And Tim [Duncan] is doing great and Manu [Ginobili] is being more aggressive, so all that makes a team much better.”
The Spurs have reached the playoffs for 15 consecutive seasons and have made five appearances in the Western Conference Finals in the past ten years.
Check out the rest of Tony Parker’s All-Star weekend interview below.
Clippers Removing Themselves From Trade Deadline Deal Market?
The Los Angeles Clippers currently own the third-best record in the Western Conference and have emerged as a legitimate title contender for the first time in team history. The early success has started to prompt speculation the team would go “all-in” in trying to win a championship this season by potentially making a major deal at the trade deadline.
The Clippers have been linked to Boston Celtics All-Star forward Kevin Garnett in recent weeks but those reports have waned. Garnett possesses a no-trade clause in his current contract and recently stated he would not waive it during All-Star weekend.
The Clippers were rumored to be dangling promising young guard Eric Bledsoe, veteran forward Caron Butler and center DeAndre Jordan in potential deals but Gary Sacks, the team’s vice president of basketball operations, says he hasn’t been shopping those players in an effort to gauge interest.
“I haven’t called anybody to say, ‘Hey, we have Eric Bledsoe and would you like him?’ Or, ‘We have DeAndre Jordan or we have anybody and would you want them?’ That’s not where I am right now with this team,” Sacks told Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. “That’s not where we are.”
“Just because people want something to happen, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen,” Sacks added. “Again from our end, I am not shopping our guys.”
Sacks appears to be putting the pressure on head coach Vinny Del Negro and the coaching staff to win with the roster as currently constructed. Sacks believes the team is built to win now.
“It’s up to the coaching staff to figure out a way to get those guys to win games,” Sacks said. “If they don’t feel like we have enough talent, then that’s their problem.”
“I like our team,” Sacks added. “I think we have a chance to be in the mix at the end whether we do something or not. Look, I’m not saying that five days from now that we wouldn’t change our mind if there is a deal that makes sense for us. I’m never going to say never. But I’d be thrilled if we had the same roster as we move forward into the rest of the season. I like who we are.”
Extension In The Works For Rockets’ Morey?
The Houston Rockets are poised to snap their postseason drought and reach the playoffs this season. One of the main reasons for the team’s success has been the moves of general manager Daryl Morey, who made three calculated risks before the start of the season.
Morey signed free agents Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik to lucrative deals many questioned and then acquired shooting guard James Harden from Oklahoma City, who has quickly become acclimated to being a franchise player.
Rockets owner Leslie Alexander has been impressed with Morey’s recent success and hinted around at extending his contract when it expires.
“His contract is up next year, I believe,” Alexander told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “We’ll re-up him. Daryl knows that I judge him all the time. I’ve told him. He’s not shy about it, either. He just knows that’s the way I operate. Why wouldn’t I? The general manager is the one person in your organization you can really judge. He can make good moves or bad moves. This year, I think he’s made three terrific moves.”
The Rockets are currently 29-26 and own a three game lead over the fading Portland Trail Blazers for the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot.
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