NBA star Parker heads for France

Tony Parker helped France reach the final of EuroBasket 2011 in September, where they were beaten by Spain.

Story highlights

  • NBA star Tony Parker has joined French team AVEL Villeurbanne
  • Frenchman Parker owns a 20 per cent stake in the team
  • The 29-year-old has not ruled out staying for the whole season, should lockout continue
NBA star Tony Parker has completed a move from San Antonio Spurs to ASVEL Villeurbanne in his native France, as the lockout in America's top division of basketball continues.
Parker, a three-time NBA champion, has been with the Spurs for 10 years, having left now-defunct French team Paris BR in 2001.
"The club ASVEL Basket welcomes with great pleasure the arrival of Tony Parker, one of the best basketball players in French history," read a statement on ASVEL's official website.
"Following the uncertainty of recent weeks, the club is delighted that this transaction has been finalized."
The point guard is also ASVEL's President of Basketball Operations, having purchased 20 per cent of the team in 2009.
The 29-year-old is not the only player to have looked to Europe in search of match action during the lockout, with Los Angeles Lakers' five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant currently in talks over a temporary switch to Italian outfit Virtus Bologna.
The lockout is the result of a dispute between NBA players and teams over the league's collective bargaining agreement, a contract which dictates how players are paid.
Weekend talks between the players' association and the teams failed to produce a new agreement, leading to the NBA canceling all 114 preseason games on Tuesday.
If the lockout continues, Parker has not ruled out spending the whole season in France and helping ASVEL challenge for the French championship.
"I have decided to play for ASVEL," Parker told French newspaper L'Equipe. "It was a logical choice for me to play in France, to come to help my club," he said.
"If, in January, I am still there and the NBA season has been canceled, we will have other objectives. If I play the whole season, we will try to win the title."
Parker was part of the French team which reached the final of EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania last month, where they were beaten 98-85 by Spain.