NBA

17-year-old Tony Parker plays Boris Diaw one-on-one back in 1999

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Tony Parker and Boris Diaw were an integral part of the San Antonio Spurs' run to the NBA title this season, with the French duo helping to blow-out the Miami Heat 4-1 in the Finals.

And that success has been 15 years in the making judging by this video that is doing the round today.

The clip shows Parker and Diaw, then aged 17, in practice on the court together at INSEP - the French national institute for sports.

Together Forever

Parker and Diaw have been together at the Spurs for just two seasons with the latter joining his French colleague in San Antonio after various spells in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns, and Charlotte Bobcats but they have been long-time friends and, as the video shows, long time competitors on the basketball court.

Playing together since their mid-teens the duo improved their game at INSEP in Paris before both finding their feet in the NBA.

Diaw himself recently told Grantland about his first meeting with Parker:

"“There was already a little Parker phenomenon when I met him. He was already great,” said the skilful big man.

But, judging by the video, Diaw himself had some skills too at his tender age, with the center getting a few shots over the typically dogged Parker defense as they run through practice drills.

Building to success

Boris Diaw has been getting a lot of recongnition lately after his Finals performances. He was one of the standout performers for the Spurs during their postseason run in, with his revitalized role in the lineup a key reason being Gregg Popovich's team's success against the Miami Heat.

His passing ability was incredible at times, with the Heat's defense unable to handle the swift Spurs play.

Parker meanwhile has found success easier to come by since swapping INSEP for the NBA, with his 2014 win securing the 32-year-old his fifth Championship ring in what has been an incredible career.

Both players were also a key part of the France national team's roster as they won the Gold Medal at EuroBasket 2013.

European Influence

The video is a great insight into the development of a star athlete's career whilst also showing just how big the game is in Europe - even as far back as 1999.

And it is apt that both Frenchman have found themselves on the roster in San Antonio, with the Spurs one of the franchise's who have perhaps most embraced bringing in foreign players to the league.

Topics:
Tony Parker
NBA
San Antonio Spurs

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