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Lawrence: Tony Parker Scared Of Being Banished To Kings Or Blazers

On Wednesday, rumors circulated that the Portland Trail Blazers were talking trade with the San Antonio Spurs for point guard Tony Parker. Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News writes that Portland wasn't the only suitor for Parker and that he apparently wasn't enthusiastic about the trade possibilities... -------------------------- Tony Parker might be right. The Spurs' last chance to win a title in the Tim Duncan era might have come this past season when they won the West and flamed out in the first round against Memphis. But as he learned, he is not supposed to tell reporters back home in France, "(the Spurs) can no longer say we're playing for a championship." Here was the Spurs' reaction: Oh, really? OK, Tony, how'd you like to go play in Sacramento? Or, how does Portland sound? Scared to death of being banished to the ends of the earth, Parker backed off his comments. Satisfied that their point guard was back with the program, the Spurs then turned around on draft night and traded his backup, George Hill, to the Pacers. You would have thought that they had moved Duncan in his prime. General manager R.C. Buford called it "one of the most difficult nights in Spurs history since we've been here." In fact, it wasn't. As much as they liked Hill's work ethic, they had no intention of meeting his salary demands. So for the first time in the Gregg Popovich era, they traded up in a draft, obtaining San Diego State's Kawhi Leonard. He fell to No. 15 because can't shoot, but he's exactly the kind of athlete the Spurs have been lacking -------------------------- Jeez. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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