April 18


Tony Parker's French disconnection

Illustration by Jeremiah TeutschIllustration by Jeremiah TeutschEarly this week, Ticket 760’s mid-afternoon talk show, The Sports Grind, took calls from listeners about the eye injury Tony Parker suffered in a recent New York club fracas. Parker had just revealed that the injury – the collateral damage from a bottle-tossing brawl between the camps of feuding stars Chris Brown and Drake – was much worse than initially thought, and had nearly cost Parker his left eye.

If Parker was looking for sympathy from local Spurs fans, however, he wasn’t getting it from Sports Grind callers. A typical call came from a male listener who said he was fed up with the All-Star point guard, and urged the Spurs to "send Frenchy packing." Sports Grind co-host Rudy J responded that whenever Parker disappoints the fans, their first inclination is to play the “French card.”

And that’s the way it’s been throughout Parker’s 11-year history with the Spurs. One of the five best players in the history of the Spurs organization, a three-time NBA champion, a former Finals MVP, and a serious candidate for this year’s regular-season MVP award, Parker has nonetheless always been denied the love that Spurs fans bestowed so effortlessly on Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, David Robinson, and George Gervin. For all his on-court success – and he’s never been better than he was this season – you always sense that Parker is one false move away from landing in hoops-fan purgatory.

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