Former France point guard Tony Parker admits that the national team’s rebuilding project going into next year’s Paris Olympics will not be an easy one.
He also says that bringing players into the team could mean taking current stars out of the fold, after they exited the FIBA World Cup in pool play.
Despite the early departure, France still qualify for Paris 2024 as the host nation.
“There, we really experienced a fiasco,” Parker said on RMC radio in the Stephen Time show.
“I talked about it for a long time with Nicolas Batum, we spoke for an hour on the phone, and it’s true that it’s very, very disappointing. It’s not normal for such a team to lose in the first round.
“We have never seen Spain and the United States go out in the first round. And it’s a shame because our generation worked so hard to bring France back to a certain level, so that we could be respected, by FIBA, the referees, the other countries.
“It’s so hard to have respect. Latvia had a great match. They had some crazy shots, but it’s not normal. It’s still a bit of a shame.”
France failed to reach the second round of the FIBA World Cup. Photo: FIBA
During his tenure with the French national team, the 41-year-old, former San Antonio Spurs player won the gold medal at EuroBasket 2013, while claiming tournament MVP in the process.
Parker also picked up the silver at EuroBasket 2011 and two bronze in 2005 and 2015, the latter coming on home soil in Lille.
During his NBA career spanning 18 years, Parker amassed 19,473 points in his career at an average of 15.5 a game along with 7,036 assists overall.
But now merely supporting France in retirement, Parker knows that there will be big changes ahead of their home Olympics, widely considered the biggest international basketball event by many of the NBA players, both past and present.
This in response to fellow French veteran Nicholas Batum’s comments on Eurohoops saying that the possible addition of Joel Embiid and of course, rookie star Victor Wembanyama are considered quick fixes.
“They are going to have big choices to make,” Parker said.
“If you bring back big players like Joel Embiid, and Victor (Wembanyama), it has to be complementary with the rest, because it could mean the departure of certain cornerstones, which can make headlines. We have to improve the team, we need changes, but it’s not going to be easy.”