Heading into the 2012 Olympics, the projected winners of an Olympic medal were Team USA, Spain and France.
For the French national team, the roster reads like a roster built up of NBA stars - Nicolas Batum, Ronny Turiaf, Boris Diaw, Joakim Noah and, of course, Tony Parker, the clear leader of the French team.
Parker led France during last summer's Olympic qualifying tournament, but if France is looking to capture a medal in London, they might have to do it without him.
Parker injured his eye (scratched cornea) when he found himself caught in the middle of a New York City nightclub brawl between music stars Chris Brown and Drake's entourage (Parker is now suing the club for his eye injury). Now, it seems the injury is much worse than thought and may keep him out of the Olympic games (via Project Spurs) and the San Antonio Spurs very worried.
Parker said on his personal website that he is to return to the United States on July 5 for further tests, and has put his Olympic fate in the hands of his NBA employers.
"I will see a specialist in New York with the hope of obtaining an agreement to play in the Olympics," Parker said.
"The Spurs are very worried. The decision is no longer mine. It is in the hands of the physician and San Antonio."
Should Parker sit out of the Olympics, this will be a death-blow blow to France's chance at an Olympic medal. Do not forget, Ian Mahinmi and Rodrigue Beaubois will not be suiting up for France which will also hurt. And without two of their point guards, it will leave the burden of guiding the team on the floor in a rough Olympic tournament to Nando De Colo (rights owned by the Spurs).
The Spurs, per NBA rules, cannot tell Parker to not play this summer but they can sure strongly advise him not to play if the eye injury is as bad as Parker says it is. Should he choose to play, then he will be risking further injury to his eye, something which will not sit well with San Antonio.
It is tough for any foreign NBA player not to represent his country on the biggest stage such as the Olympics. But when a player of Parker's caliber is injured, having him raring to go next season for San Antonio might be a smart move if the team wants to contend for title number five. Moreover, without Parker's MVP play last season, the Spurs do not get to the Western Conference Finals.
Also, should Parker not play for France, expect Argentina or Brazil (two teams also with loaded rosters including Manu Ginobili, Nene, Luis Scola and Leonadro Barbosa to name a few players) basically contend for the bronze medal seeing how the US and Spain will be battling for the gold.
And to make matters even worse, France is set to open up the Olympic basketball tournament versus Team USA.
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