France are slotted in Pool B with the Philippines and New Zealand in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament set on July 5 to 11 in the Phillippines and they are the clear favourites to advance to Rio in August and give Tony Parker what is likely to be his final Olympic Games.
The French have had some decent players at their disposal down the years with Joakim Noah and Rudy Gobert two of the best defensive players in the NBA today representing them at different stages.
Today, they have the likes of Alexis Ajinca of the New Orleans Pelicans, Boris Diaw of the San Antonio Spurs and Nicholas Batum of the Charlotte Hornets in their ranks, but there is little doubt they are led by long-serving Spurs guard, Tony Parker.
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As a four-time NBA champion and 2013 EuroBasket champion, Parker is no stranger to success. However, at 34-years-old, it seems as though the veteran has his retirement plans, at least from the international stage, in sight.
“It’s my last one and I already said it’s my last time playing with the national team,” he said on Sunday in a press conference at Sofitel Philippine Plaza.
“I’m enjoying every moment and I had an unbelievable career with the French team. Hopefully, I can finish on a great note and help us qualify for Rio.”
Parker knows it's not a forgone conclusion that France will be Brazil-bound, but he is going to do everything in his power to try and will them there.
“There’s always a lot of pressure since I’ve been with the national team. We respect everybody and it’s going to be a tough tournament. There’s a lot of great teams and we just want to look at it one game at a time and stay focused,” he said.