Basketball player Tony Parker will be the first Frenchman to join the NBA Hall of Fame, the pantheon of the best players in the North American league. A well-deserved distinction according to Vincent Collet who managed it with the France team.
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“It’s quite exceptional”reacts this Saturday on franceinfo Vincent Collet, the current coach of the French basketball team who coached Tony Parker between 2009 and 2016, while this one becomes the first Frenchman in history to enter the “Hall of Fame” of the NBA, which brings together all the greatest glories in the history of basketball. The induction ceremony will take place on August 12 in Massachusetts in the United States.
Vincent Collet recalls that “it’s the first time for a Frenchman” in this sport. “If there should be onehe adds, it was promised to him but the fact that it is happening is indeed exceptional because it is still a very reserved court and there are few chosen ones. It’s still amazing”he enthuses.
Tony Parker played for the San Antonio Spurs from 2001 to 2018, 17 seasons and four NBA titles. For Vincent Collet, there are several elements that have contributed to this success : “His meeting with coach Gregg Popovich and then the fact of arriving in a particularly competitive team, a club which had a lot of ambition and which for ten years was probably the best in the whole NBA.”
A little more in the history of basketball
The current coach of the French basketball team then recalls the career of the French player who “very quickly took the place of the one who was titular leader, which was not initially planned”. According to him, Tony Parker “took advantage of the opportunities but they weren’t given to him, he went to provoke them through work, talent and then his mind, which was unique in French basketball. Little by little he made his mark in this team alongside other exceptional players”.
From now on, Tony Parker’s jersey hangs in the hall of the San Antonio Spurs, that is to say, no one will wear the Spurs number 9 again. Proof, for Vincent Collet, of a “phenomenal career, unequaled for the moment in French basketball”. The coach therefore draws his “hats off to all that has been achieved over time and with all the teams in which he has played”.
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