Admiral Tony Parker: I Salute You

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Admiral Tony Parker: I Salute You
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

I'm a Portland Trailblazer fan and I hate you, Tony Parker.

I remember February 25, 2009. It marked the first time in nearly a decade I could sit on my couch and have confidence that Portland would beat a San Antonio squad, especially when it was missing Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

I should have known better.

Tony Parker danced around the AT&T center. He shot jumpers over Brandon Roy. He drove around Steve Blake for lay-ins. He even hit a three. He personally told the Trail Blazers, "Naw guys, you young guns got nothin' on us vets."

Last night, viewers saw Tony Parker take the floor against the Los Angeles Clippers. He had his typical stat line. 8-16 from the floor, 21 points, 9 assists and 2 steals, including two acrobatic around-the-glass layups that stopped two Clipper runs.

Parker runs the floor. Yes, he hands the ball of to Manu in the fourth quarter, but that doesn't mean he isn't commanding the spacing on the court. Humble off the court, his presence is known when he's in the game.

His quickness is comparable to Rondo. he takes the long route while defenders take the short and he still finds his way to the bucket. His jumper is comparable to Rose; he'll bust it anywhere and if you leave him wide open he'll stroke the occasional three. His smarts, well as far as I'm concerned, are unmatched by any point guard in the league.

And he has three rings.

With Parker at the helm, I see the 2010 San Antonio Spurs playing the role of the 2009 Boston Celtics. They might not make it to the Finals, but they will be a force in the West.

I just hope it's not against Portland.

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