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On Friday, the San Antonio Spurs and Tony Parker agreed to a $43.3 million extension that will keep Parker in San Antonio for the next three seasons.
Parker, age 32, has played 13 seasons in the NBA, all with the Spurs. In those 13 seasons, Parker has won four NBA championships, and been named to six NBA All-Star teams.
In response to signing the new deal, Parker told the San Antonio Express-News: “So happy. Spurs for life!”
Last season, in 68 games played, Parker averaged 16.7 points, 5.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds, .5 steals and shot 50.9 percent from the field. While Parker has occasionally struggled with injuries, his production is still in line with past seasons. He still has the quickness that has made him such a tough cover throughout his career and is still one of the best finishers at the rim in the league.
With Tim Duncan set to return next season at a team friendly $10,361,446, coach Gregg Popovich signing a contract extension and now Parker locked up, the Spurs are set to defend their 2013-14 NBA championship.
In the fourth quarter of Team USA’s scrimmage on Friday, Paul George jumped to block a James Harden layup. Unfortunately, George’s leg got caught on the basket stanchion, and it appears that the star forward will be out of action for a significant period of time. George was diagnosed with a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula and is undergoing surgery.
The timetable for George’s return have yet to be announced. This injury conjures up memories of former Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware, who suffered a compound fracture in a game against Duke in 2013. After seeing George’s injury, Ware tweeted this:
Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski took to center court to call off the remaining 9:33 of the scrimmage out of respect to George and his family.
George was taken to a nearby hospital for special surgery, accompanied by Coach Krzyzewski, his family and Kevin Pritchard.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported that the basket stanchions at the Thomas & Mack Center are 2.2 feet closer to the out of bounds line than in NBA arenas.
Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird released a statement saying: “We [the Pacers] are aware of the injury sustained by Paul George and Friday nights team USA game in Las Vegas and we are obviously greatly concern. At this time our thoughts and prayers are with Paul. Still gathering details and will have an updated statement Saturday.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also released a statement regarding George’s injury: “It was difficult to watch the injury that Paul George sustained tonight while representing his country. The thoughts and prayers of all of us at the NBA are with Paul and his family.”
NBA players took to Twitter to show their concern for George and wish a speedy recovery. George responded to the support with this tweet late Friday:
Thanks everybody for the love and support.. I'll be ok and be back better than ever!!! Love y'all!! #YoungTrece
— Paul George (@Yg_Trece) August 2, 2014
Hopefully George can make a full, speedy recovery.
During last season’s NBA playoffs, Manu Ginobili fought through a leg injury to help the San Antonio Spurs defeat LeBron James and the Miami HEAT in the NBA Finals. That same injury will now keep Ginobili from competing in the upcoming FIBA World Cup, which will be held in Spain starting August 30.
At age 37, Ginobili has struggled with injuries throughout his career, which is why the Spurs asked him to sit out of the upcoming tournament. With Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard all coming back next season, the Spurs are in position to defend last season’s championship, but will need Ginobili healthy to do so.
Last season, in 68 games played, Ginobili averaged 12.3 points, three rebounds, 4.3 assists, one steal and shot 46.9 percent from the field. While Ginobili’s stats seem to be down, he only played in 22.8 minutes per game last season.
Sitting out of international play is not easy for Ginobili, who has competed for his home country Argentina dating back to 1998. He was part of Argentina’s stunning victory over the USA National Team in the 2004 Olympics.
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