Olympic Basketball 2012: Tony Parker's Go-to Teammate on French National Team

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Olympic Basketball 2012: Tony Parker's Go-to Teammate on French National Team
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The French national team is going to be a serious threat at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Tony Parker is by far the biggest star on the team and a large reason why the team has reached No. 12 in the FIBA rankings despite a dearth of quality NBA players on the roster.

However, Les Bleus aren’t a one-man show and Parker has a supporting cast that does play professionally stateside. These men are going to be expected to contribute at a high level if France is going to have a chance to advance deep in the tournament.

Let’s take a look at the players who will be most important to the success of the national team.

Nicolas Batum

Batum was one of the hottest free agents this past offseason and was heavily recruited by the Minnesota Timberwolves before the Portland Trail Blazers matched the offer sheet.

The 6’8” swingman got his career started with Le Mans in the French league and is a native of Lisieux.

He was a part of the silver medal European Championship squad in 2011 and will have to be an even bigger part of the London roster if his side is going to make a run.

Batum should play well off of Parker and will be the main scoring option on this team.

Boris Diaw

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Diaw was a teammate of Parker for a majority of the 2011-12 season. The Charlotte Bobcats bought him out and the Spurs snatched up the versatile forward/center.

At 6’8”, the former Pau Orthez standout isn’t going to wow anyone with his height, but he has the ability to guard multiple positions.

Aside from his knack for scoring, Diaw’s most impressive quality is his elite passing skill.

He’s been able to adequately fill in as a backup point guard during his time with the Phoenix Suns and should be the secondary playmaker behind Parker on this roster.

Ronny Turiaf

Turiaf is the starting center for the French and will be expected to play a much bigger role for them than he did for the Miami Heat this season.

He’s a strong, robust big that can out-muscle most other 4s and 5s in the Olympic tournament.

If Turiaf and Parker can execute a pick-and-roll offense and the center can effectively protect the rim, France will go deep.

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