Tony Parker, here Tuesday during the presentation to the press of his brother TJ, new coach of Asvel. - Jérémy Laugier / 20 Minutes

  • Asvel held its return press conference on Tuesday at the Astroballe (Villeurbanne), in particular to present its new duo of coaches TJ Parker and Frédéric Fauthoux.
  • At the end of two successful seasons with Zvezdan Mitrovic on the bench, the president of Asvel Tony Parker therefore takes an unexpected turn, and this in an attempt to win "a license for life in Euroleague".
  • The former playmaker of the Blues and Spurs will also "get more involved in sports at OL" this season. With what consequences in the functioning and success of Asvel?

“Since our arrival with Gaëtan [Muller], we have always tried to move the lines, to do different things and a club unique to Asvel. Tony Parker makes no secret of it: his methods and ambitions have been at odds with the French basketball landscape for six years and his seizure of power in Villeurbanne.

In a crucial offseason, in order to aim for “a lifetime license in Euroleague”, the young retired 38-year-old leader tried three new high-risk bets.

"The golden opportunity" offered to his brother TJ

A month ago, the announcement of the dismissal of Zvezdan Mitrovic, author of the double championship cup in 2019 and co-leader of Jeep Elite this year before the end of the basketball season, was already surprising. But to replace the Montenegrin coach (under contract until 2021), also the author of a great campaign in Euroleague (10 successes), by his younger brother TJ (36 years old), constitutes a big gamble for "TP". In a climate of legal procedure formalized Wednesday by the lawyer of Zvezdan Mitrovic, this faithful and discreet assistant since 2013 in Villeurbanne will therefore start the first season of his career as a head coach.

"TJ has been at the club for seven years," Gaëtan Muller said on Tuesday during a press conference at the Astroballe. If he hadn't been Tony's brother, it would have seemed logical that an assistant could become a coach after seven years, right? Somewhere, we respected the logic. In light of his mixed interim from January to May 2018 (16 wins and 13 losses, elimination at Le Mans in the Pro A quarter-final), TJ Parker offers few guarantees for "a decisive season, perhaps the most important" , dixit "TP". "I'm an employee, and it's my brother, the president," smiles TJ. Of course there are more risks when you become number one, but I don't think about that. It's adventure, I take the challenge to win as many things as possible. Becoming a coach was my dream, we waited and the time was right. Tony Parker justified Tuesday "the golden opportunity" he offered to his brother.

In the summer of 2018, I was not tempted to maintain it because I did not feel it ready yet. He progressed each year, with three very different coaches who fed his learning. Between his relationship with the players, his knowledge of basketball and respect for the values ​​we want to have in this club, he ticks all the boxes. Then you go with the feeling and I think it's a good time for him. He knows the rules of the game, he knows that if we don't win a trophy, I won't have a choice. I will always be harder with him and with my bodyguard, my friends. "

Because if Tony Parker surrounds himself most often with his loved ones, starting with his two deputy presidents Gaëtan Muller and Marie-Sophie Obama (for Lyon Asvel Féminin), he also knows how to decide with firmness as with Edwin Jackson, one of the major recruits last season. "It will always remain like my little brother." I'm going on vacation in two weeks with him, but professionally we agreed to his departure, "he said Tuesday, after having already pushed him to join the Estudiantes Madrid on loan in February. When the time comes, will he be as uncompromising with his brother TJ, under contract until 2023?

Asvel has chosen to "put the package in order to have the Euroleague for life"

- 20 Minutes (@ 20Minutes) June 23, 2020

A tandem that intrigues with Fauthoux, number 1 bis

After four promising seasons as head coach at Boulogne-Levallois, seeing Frédéric Fauthoux (47) disembarking at Asvel for an assistant position poses another question. "It's still something new for France, but I experienced this formula on a daily basis in San Antonio and it inspired me," explains "TP". Gregg Popovich has always been surrounded by great coaches [Mike Budenholzer, Brett Brown, Ettore Messina] and it works very well. "The complicity between TJ Parker and the former emblematic leader of Elan Béarnais was not overlooked for this first meeting with the press," Fred "Fauthoux sometimes being content with a cautious" I will answer the same thing that TJ ". Seemingly hesitant as to the exact scope of his new role as "associate coach", sort of number one again, Frédéric Fauthoux, much more experienced, however, especially wanted to praise Tuesday "the bet of Asvel to bet on a 100% French staff ”.

He also returned to his exchanges with "TP", last February, when the latter initially thought to recruit him for the 2021-2022 season, before the situation of Zvezdan Mitrovic did not change. “Tony presented this project to me in order to have a staff provided, not to mention number 1 or number 2, he says. When the benchmark club in France asks you, I think it's time to move, and I therefore did not think about the question of number 1 or number 2. "Here too, you will have to see the reality of the field as much this formula is more natural across the Atlantic than in France.

“TP” is getting more and more involved with OL

Tony Parker confirmed on Tuesday that he would join the OL board and that he had tried (without success) to convince young defender Pierre Kalulu to stay in his training club, at the request of President Aulas. Insisting on “[his] chance to have the best deputy president possible”, Gaëtan Muller, Tony Parker indicates: “I will take more responsibility with OL. Jean-Michel [Aulas] has great confidence in me, and he wants me to be more involved in sports. ”

Our basketball file

From his home in San Antonio, between his basketball academy or the station of Villars-de-Lans (Isère), is this new perspective in favor of OL really compatible with his strong involvement in Asvel? Even for "a man who succeeds in everything he undertakes, as a player or as a manager", as Frédéric Fauthoux reminds us, doubt is allowed.


Asvel: Tony Parker once again propels his brother TJ as head coach, with Frédéric Fauthoux assisting


Asvel-Monaco: "It brings us an overconfidence" ... What is the method of President Tony Parker to win everything?

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