Tony Parker, here this Tuesday at the Astroballe alongside Gaëtan Muller, his friend and CEO of Asvel. - Jérémy Laugier / 20 Minutes
- Asvel held its return press conference this Tuesday at the Astroballe (Villeurbanne), in particular to present TJ Parker, Tony's younger brother, as the main coach for this new season.
- Despite the Covid-19 health crisis, the president of Asvel did not hesitate to significantly strengthen his workforce, with the arrivals of Norris Cole and Moustapha Fall in particular.
- The clearly stated objective of "TP" is to be part, in a few months, of the privileged benefiting from a "license for life" in Euroleague.
“I believe that any club in France would like to have the workforce that is built with us today. TJ Parker is well aware of the "golden opportunity" that his big brother "TP" has just given him, namely to attack at 36 his first season as head coach at the head of an armada rarely seen at Asvel. The club villeurbannais, author of the double championship-cup in 2019, did not remain struck long after the premature end of the season.
"It's really a shame, we were off to try to defend our title," said Tony Parker. We had a great first year in Euroleague [10 wins in 28 games], with really exciting new energy. One of the biggest crises of humanity has arrived but we have to move forward because a defining season is coming for us, perhaps the most important. "
Some of the best highlight DUNKS from @LDLCASVEL last season 😎
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'Energy Moves' I @ENEOSMotorOils I #EUROLEAGUEUNITED pic.twitter.com/bpboSpZynD
"It would be the ultimate reward for our work"
After having returned to the Euroleague in October 2019, ten years after its previous participation, Asvel has indeed a good chance of integrating in the long term, from 2021, the second most prestigious competition in the world after the NBA. "Becoming a Euroleague franchise for life would be the ultimate reward for our work since 2014, just before the opening of our future room," says Tony Parker.
This is why the former Spurs leader has done everything possible to build up a top-flight squad of “13 or 14 players”. "We have tried to put the package now and we will see over the next three or four years how we will cover all the debts linked to the Covid-19 crisis," acknowledges the leader, refusing to mention figures.
What is Tony Parker's method of winning everything with Asvel? https://t.co/9qrtNItC6u- 20 Minutes (@ 20Minutes) June 26, 2019
Priority to French staff and staff
In 2019-2020, the announced budget was 11 million euros, with the smallest payroll in Euroleague (2.4 million euros net). Surrounded by Gaëtan Muller (the deputy chairman), Nicolas Batum (director of basketball operations) and François Lamy (special advisor to Asvel), "TP" details the outlines of this XXL summer recruitment.
We tried to do something coherent, by taking on complementary players. Like last season [with notably the arrivals of Antoine Diot and Edwin Jackson], we wanted to base ourselves on a big French identity. Our fans and sponsors like to see players registering for a project. The choices of dominant French players, Paul Lacombe and Moustapha Fall, were therefore strong for us. "
"TP" highlights "the big financial efforts" of the players
Asvel also wanted to bet on "a 100% French staff", with especially the arrival of Frédéric Fauthoux (ex-number one in Levallois) as assistant to TJ Parker. Among players, the arrival of Norris Cole, former double NBA champion with Miami and Monaco last season, marked the spirits, while Allerik Freeman and Kevarrius Hayes were presented by "TP" as "two players who will surprise" . So many reinforcements, in addition to the extensions of David Lighty, Guerschon Yabusele, Ismael Bako and Matthew Strazel, allowed "thanks to the big financial efforts of the players".
All these beautiful people will have two clear objectives: "defend the title of champion of France and do at least as well as last year in Euroleague". This team seems even more oversized than the previous one for the Jeep Elite, could it mark the history of the French basketball championship? "You have to prove it on the field and bring back trophies," said Tony Parker. So far, nothing has been proven. It doesn't mean anything, talent on paper. "
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- Tony Parker