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insidehoops 02-17-2013 02:41 AM

Tony Parker, Ricky Rubio discuss watching Michael Jordan play
Growing up in the suburbs of Paris, the Spurs’ Tony Parker religiously camped out in front of the TV at 2 or 3 in the morning when Jordan’s games came on, saying, “He was my idol, a great example for me to follow with his competitiveness and how he always carried himself. I watched his highlight tapes a hundred times.”

The Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio, who’s only 22, may have never seen Jordan play live, but he too rose in the middle of the night in Spain to take in post-Jordan era NBA telecasts.

“A few players changed the meaning of basketball everywhere, and I think (Jordan) has done the most,” Rubio said. “Back in Spain, everyone was wearing his jersey number 23, and it was all because of him (NBA) games were on.”

Even the consummate Jordan anti-fan Noah grasps what His Airness left behind.

“You’ve got to respect the tradition he built and all the hard work he put into winning those championships,” Noah said. “We wouldn’t have the fan base (in Chicago) we do now if it wasn’t for Michael Jordan. They’re very demanding. They appreciate winning. They expect us to win, and that’s great.”

-- San Antonio Express-News Blog

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