Tony Parker has decided to play during the NBA's lockout for a basketball club in France that he holds a 20 percent stake in. No shocker there, as Parker has hinted at this possibility for months. What's surprising, though, is the San Antonio Spurs All-Star's monthly salary. The 2007 NBA Finals MVP wants to play for just under $2,000 a month, which might make him the worst paid NBA transplant out there.
"[Parker] will play with a French team during the NBA lockout, earning a mere $1,995 per month despite his star power on and off the basketball court.
ASVEL, which is based in Villeurbanne, near Lyon in southeast France, announced on Wednesday that Parker will play for them.
Parker told the sports daily L'Equipe that the decision is "logical." He is vice president of the club and wants to help it advance.
The Frenchman says, "I'll be playing nearly for free … If I play the entire season, we'll go for the title."
This is a pretty hefty "love of the game"-situation, and insurance issues (what if Tony has a bad fall? The Spurs could void his contract) aside, it makes perfect sense. Even if Parker was set to make $12.5 million this year with the Spurs.
These players are going to be working out during the lockout, even if the NBA decides to pass on having a season during 2011-12. At some point, tossing around the medicine ball and jumping rope (this is how NBA players work out, right?) just won't suffice, and guys are bound to get together for a five-on-five game. And you might as well amp up the level of competition -- say, to the arc of a professional league. And you might as well get paid, right? Two grand is too much? OK, call it $1,995.
Parker also holds the title of "vice president of basketball operations" for the club, but he apparently has no say in personnel matters. Though we suspect that ASVEL has no qualms with Parker signing himself to his own team.
We'll let you add your own bon mot in the comments section.
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