Tony Parker wears sunglasses at a press conference in Paris on Friday. (Photo via www.facebook.com/tp9network)
Thanks to the intrepid reporting of the New York Daily News, we already knew that NBA guards Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs and Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks were on the scene early Thursday morning at New York City nightspot Club WIP when, in the paper's words, "a festering beef between R&B singer Chris Brown and rapper Drake over their gorgeous ex-girlfriend [Rihanna] exploded Thursday into a bloody, bottle-throwing melee inside [the] packed Manhattan club." Shumpert, the Knicks' injured rookie, confirmed on Twitter Friday morning that security had gotten him out of the club unscathed before the bottles started flying. On Friday afternoon, we learned that Parker wasn't so lucky.
The Spurs' All-Star point guard — whose regular season ended nine days ago in the Western Conference finals at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder — reportedly suffered a left eye injury in the crossfire of the chaos. French-speaking BDL readers can check out video of a sunglasses-sporting Parker explaining the ocular occurrence at a Friday press conference, thanks to Magana300M (via Nigel D at RealTalk NY). The rest of us can check out this translation from Reuters' Gregory Blachier:
The three-time NBA champion said he got some shards of glass in his left eye during the incident on Wednesday.
"I was there with a bunch of friends when a fight broke out. They started to throw bottles about ... I got it all," Parker told a news conference.
"The cornea has been touched. I can't do anything for seven days ... But I was lucky. The injury won't prevent me from competing the Olympics in any way," he added.
That's great news for Parker, who's coming off a stellar season that saw him earn a slot on the 2011-12 All-NBA Second Team after averaging 18.3 points and 7.7 assists per game for the Spurs. Ditto for the French national team, which is depending on Parker to man the controls of a squad featuring fellow NBA players Joakim Noah, Boris Diaw, Nicolas Batum and Kevin Seraphin, one that has designs on competing for gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London after turning in a silver-medal performance in 2011's Eurobasket competition.
Here's hoping there are no lingering effects on Parker's vision from the incident; considering how badly some other club-goers were injured in the melee (seriously, some of the photos running along with that Daily News story are not for the squeamish) it seems like it could have been much, much worse.
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