The San Antonio Spurs have arguably had the best offseason of anyone in the League. They added Richard Jefferson for nothing, signed free agent Antonio McDyess, somehow managed to pick up DaJuan Blair in the Draft, and maybe know something no one else does about this guy, officially re-stocking a roster that can clearly contend for a title during the few years that Tim Duncan has left in the tank.
None of that means anything though with Tony Parker in the mix, which is why this report this morning has undoubtedly led to legions of Spurs fans collectively throwing up in their mouths:
From wire reports –
Spurs guard Tony Parker suffered two injuries to his right leg in a collision with an opponent while playing for the French national team against Austria on Friday night in Strasbourg, France.
According to French sports newspaper L’Equipe, Parker left the game on a crutch after 12 minutes with a sharp pain in his right thigh after colliding with Austria’s Stjepan Stazic. Though that injury soon subsided, Parker’s right ankle became swollen. By Saturday morning, it was clear the ankle was the greater issue.
In a statement released by the French Basketball Federation, Parker said that the collision caused “a blow to my thigh, and my ankle also turned.”
Parker described the MRI of his ankle as “reassuring,” calling the injury “a minor sprain, without any ligament damage.”
Parker is expected to be ready when France’s Eurobasket 2009 qualification effort gets back under way on Aug. 5 against Italy in Cagliari.
Despite the fact that everything seems to be ok, for a guy who has had ankle issues in the past, this is most definitely not what Spurs fans want to hear. Something like this brings up a topic that Mark Cuban always rails against when his guys are involved – when an NBA club is paying a guy a ton of money, at what point can they tell their player that he can’t mess around with his national team in the offseason? We’re sure that Rockets fans wish that their team had told Yao Ming to chill in the offseason the last few summers instead of playing with the Chinese National team. There’s no solid proof that that the extra wear and tear has led to his foot condition, but it certainly hasn’t helped. And now the Rockets’ season is basically done months before it even starts.
Should NBA teams be able to to protect their investment and bar their players from international competition in the offseason?