US Dream Team not unbeatable, says Parker
VILLEURBANNE, France - Agence France-Presse
France's player Tony Parker eyes the ball during the basketball match France vs Brazil, in Strasbourg, eastern France, on July 21, 2012. AFP photo
French NBA star Tony Parker told his teammates on Tuesday not to be intimidated by the mighty Americans and insisted the Dream Team can be defeated.
Defending champions United States and France clash in their opening match at the Olympics on Sunday where Parker, who plays point guard with the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, believes the injury-hit Americans can be defeated.
"All teams can be beaten," he said of the United States. "They are not unbeatable. In competition anything can happen." France lost 69-67 to Australia in their last warm-up match on Monday after their preparations had already been complicated by Parker suffering an eye injury in a New York nightclub brawl last month.
He will have to wear protective eyewear in the tournament to guard against further damage.
"I will wear them throughout the competition. I have to do that and make sure I adapt, but it won't be easy," he said.
"I lead the team and have to focus on other things that are going on around the court." On Sunday's opener, the 30-year-old added: "My father is American and I have a lot of family who come from there, it's a special match." "It's always special to play against the Americans. They are the favourites and will be going out to play at their maximum. It'll be a good match for us to start the Olympics."