24h Le Mans
Tony Parker: "I would love to do the 24 Hours of Le Mans."
Newly retired pro basketball player Tony Parker is here to cheer on IDEC SPORT Racing's #48 ORECA 07-Gibson. The French-American four-time NBA champion is at the 24 Hours circuit to give his support to the French team. After visiting the garage and signing some autographs, Parker talked to us about his interest in participating in the race one day.
What does the 24 Hours of Le Mans mean to you?
"To me, it's an important event in France that I've heard a lot about during my career. Unfortunately, I had yet to be able to come see it, so it's an honour to be here. I'm going to spend some time getting to know the world around this race. I can't wait to witness the talent of the drivers on the track and take part in the Drivers Parade."
You're use to working within a team, what advice would you give the IDEC SPORT Racing drivers?
"It's vital to be a close unit and trust your teammates. When you're part of a team sport, you have to do your job and you have to be sure your teammates share the same mindset. I feel like that's the case for Paul, Paul-Loup and Memo. In a team, you never know if it's going to mesh, but it's looking good since they've been working together for several years."
As a captain, what do you think of the French basketball team?
"I feel like they're motivated, very positive and ready to go the last mile. I feel like I'm back when I was captain of the 2011 French basketball team when we won the silver medal in the European championship. We got the gold in 2013. I think they're ready."
Do you think you might participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans one day?
"First I'm going to do a private session, far from the media and cameras, at night so no one sees me (laughs, Ed.). I never close a door and I'd love to give it a go, so I'm going to start talking with Patrice Lafarge (IDEC SPORT Racing president, Ed.). But, before taking on such a huge challenge and racing, I really need to improve."
PHOTO: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES DU MANS, FRIDAY 14 JUNE 2019, IDEC SPORT RACING PRESS CONFERENCE. Tony Parker, here to cheer on French team IDEC SPORT Racing's #48 ORECA 07-Gibson.