Why Tony Parker Might Not Play in the Olympics
Will the eye injury he says he suffered as a bystander in Drake and Chris Brown's alleged New York nightclub brawl stop him from playing for France?
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When the news first broke that San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker was among the party glitterati at the New York club where hip-hop stars Chris Brown and Drake allegedly brawled over their mutual ex, Rihanna, it seemed like an amusing sidenote. (And a sad reminder that Parker was not otherwise occupied with the NBA Finals.)
Parker suffered a scratched cornea from broken glass (bottles were reportedly thrown during the fight), but at a news conference in Paris on June 15, he called himself “lucky” for not being more severely injured, and said that he’d be ready to play for Team France at this July’s Olympic Games.
Then on Friday, Parker filed a $20 million lawsuit against W.i.P., the New York club where the incident went down (TMZ—who else?—has posted a PDF of the entire lawsuit).
As Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News wrote:
The posting on Parker’s website said the Spurs’ star underwent surgery last week in Paris to remove a shard of glass from the damaged eye. Parker asserted that the glass had penetrated 99 percent of the eye.
“I can say today, I almost lost my eye,” the posting said. “So I had surgery on Sunday morning (June 17) under general anesthesia.”
Parker said his participation in the Olympic tournament in London is in the Spurs’ hands.
“The Spurs are very worried,” he said. “Based on the result, it will be determined whether I have to miss the Olympics. The decision is no longer mine. It is in the hands of the physician and San Antonio.”
As the Associated Press noted, Parker also said “he has been having hallucinations and been unable to leave his hotel room for eight days because of the risk of infection. He also has to apply five different products to his eye every two hours.”
Parker is scheduled to see a specialist in New York City on July 5, the first day he will be cleared to take a long-haul flight. Spurs general manager R.C. Buford told Monroe the team would “take advantage of the remedies that are available to us through the NBA’s agreement with FIBA (the international basketball governing body) to understand the severity of the injury and be involved in Tony’s prescription for recovery from any injury.”
Dan Devine of Yahoo! Sports’ Ball Don’t Lie wrote that because Parker is due to make $37.5 million over the next three years and is the youngest member of the Spurs’ three-man core:
San Antonio wanting its medical staff and front office to be able to make the decision on Parker’s participation in London makes all the sense in the world, even if the end result of their investment protection winds up severely hampering France’s chances of medaling.
Mon dieu! Like anyone in Texas cares about that.