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The joke is now on Parker's opponents

San Antonio's guard making his point

San Antonio's guard making his point

June 03, 2003|By CHRIS SHERIDAN

SAN ANTONIO - Nearly two years ago, shortly after hearing the Spurs drafted a French point guard, San Antonio forward Malik Rose learned that Tony Parker had his own Web site.

A few clicks later, Rose took his first look.

"It was weird. It showed him dribbling around. It showed his weak French dunk. He barely got his fingers over the rim. Probably a 9-foot rim," Rose joked Monday.

The Spurs also rag on Parker for eating his french fries with a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise, and for his bout of vomiting after eating a bad batch of creme brulee the night before Game 6 in Dallas.

But for all the teasing, the Spurs also give the 21-year-old Parker plenty of respect.

He will become the fourth-youngest player in NBA history to compete in the finals when San Antonio's best-of-7 series against the New Jersey Nets begins Wednesday night.

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"It's a dream to play in the NBA Finals. Three years ago I was waking up at 3 a.m. to watch the finals, and now I'm playing in them," Parker said.

His matchup against Nets point guard Jason Kidd will be one of the keys to the upcoming series, and it comes with an intriguing subplot. The Spurs will have more than $14 million worth of salary cap space over the summer when Kidd becomes a free agent, and it's possible they will offer it to Kidd.

Will it have an affect on Parker?

"I've been asked that question 500 times, and it's not going to bother me - the comparison and the matchup with Jason Kidd," Parker said Monday.

The speedy Parker does not even expect this matchup to be his toughest of the postseason. In his opinion, no point guard is more difficult to defend than Phoenix's Stephon Marbury, whose team defeated San Antonio twice in the opening round.

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