NBA Roundtable

Link: A.Parker On His Euro Experiences

In General NBA on September 19, 2009 at 8:34 am

There’s a very good interview on with Anthony Parker discussing his experiences playing in Europe.

Talk about the social-political aspect of playing in Tel Aviv? You were exposed to the violence right away. What was that like, living with that threat while trying to focus on basketball?

Parker: That was an interesting story, because two weeks after we got there the whole second Intifada started. Ariel Sharon went to the Temple Mount and basically the whole situation blew up. And the conflict was essentially 45 minutes from our doorstep.

But when you’re in Israel and you’re in the country, you don’t feel it. People are going to the mall, people are going out to eat. Kids are going to school. Life is normal. But you know that 45 minutes away, there’s a war going on.

So my family was going crazy. ‘What’s it like over there?’ ‘When are you coming home?’ And honestly, it’s scary, because we know what’s going on, but we don’t really feel it. And it was funny because my teammates – even the American ones – were telling me, ‘You’ll develop a thick skin to it.’ And I thought, ‘No way! How do you get used to bombings and things like that?!’ But by my fourth or fifth year, I found myself telling the new guys, ‘This is nothing. You guys have nothing to worry about.’

It’s a good interview, worth checking out.

How is Maccabi Tel Aviv different – or maybe, superior – to other Euroleague teams?

Parker: I think Maccabi’s been so competitive for so long because, for starters, they are by far the No. 1 team in Israel and they do that through their organization. They make it a lot easier, where you just have to focus on basketball. When you arrive at your apartment, your refrigerator is stocked with food. It’s those little things. If you need something for your house, they have it for you by the end of practice.

It’s all those things that contradict what you normally hear about European basketball. And so it puts you in a position where you’re thinking, ‘I don’t want to leave. I want to play for this organization.’ The fans are, by far, the best fans.

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