Tony Parker has no problems admitting, “I was scared.”
And most everyone else would be, too. He was at the New York night club, sitting near by with friends about a month ago when bottles started flying in the infamous Chris Brown-Drake brawl. A piece landed in his eye. And for a while, he had to sit in his hotel room in darkness, hoping it would get better.
“Life can change pretty fast,” he told ESPN while in London for the Olympics. The San Antonio all-star guard will lead the French team Sunday against Team USA.
And he will do so wearing goggles to protect his damaged eye.
“It’s so funny, because I just had my best year in the NBA and in one night it can change,” said Parker, who will wear goggles during the Olympics. “It just puts life in perspective and you think, ‘OK, next time I have to be careful,’ but at the same time you can’t stop living because then you don’t even cross the street.
“You don’t want to dramatize too much, but it still puts it all in perspective.”
He did not reveal any details of the incident, but it was apparent Parker got caught in the crossfire during the brawl and wound up with a piece of glass embedded in his cornea. Doctors later told him that he came within “two millimeters away of losing my eye.”
There are no visible traces of trauma in Parker’s eye. If there are any scars, they’re hidden.
“It scared me a lot,” he said. “It was like a crazy situation, you can’t believe it’s happening. It was almost like you were in a movie.”
He was banned from flying and ordered to avoid any light. So he stayed his hotel room for eight days before traveling to San Antonio. In the solace of his own company, he thought and thought and. . .
“I was beyond scared because it goes beyond basketball,” French forward Ronny Turiaf said. “Tony and I have been friends for the last 15 or 16 years. We’ve shared so many moments and have been there for each other as much as possible throughout our careers, and when you hear about one of your friends going down with a freak injury like that, you panic.
“The one thing I know about Tony is that he never gets down or gets defeated. I knew he was going to pull through.”