RMC Sport

T. Splitter: "The Olympics? My next dream."

Splitter joined Parker in San Antonio in 2010.

Splitter joined Parker in San Antonio in 2010. - -

Tony Parker's teammate on the Spurs, Tiago Splitter, was this week's guest on the TP Show. The Brazilian center talks about the Olympics and explains how Duncan and Parker helped him become a better player.

How do you feel this season? What's the difference with last year?

I feel pretty good this year. I play more minutes, it makes me more confident. I know the system now. And my teammates know me better, they know what I can do on the court. I feel very confident playing with the team this year.

Has the NBA always been a dream for you?

When I was a little kid, I used to watch the NBA on TV. It has always been a dream. Once I started to play professional in Spain, it became a target. I've been practicing hard every day to be in the NBA and now I'm here, I'm very happy. My next dream is to play in the Olympics in London.

Do you think Brazil can do something in the Olympics?

Whatever the outcome is, playing in the Olympic Games will be great. And I think anything can happen because it's a short tournament. We'll have our full team to play there, I hope we can do something.

What do you think of the United States' team? Do you think someone can beat them this summer?

The American team is very good. They have very talented players and great athletes. It will be really tough. Few teams can dream of beating them. But everybody is going to try. And like I said, it's a short tournament, anything can happen.

Soccer is the number one sport in Brazil? How big is basketball?

Basketball used to be bigger in Brazil, especially when Oscar Schmidt was playing in the Olympics, scoring a lot. The team also won two world championships. Now we're trying to bring basketball back to the top in Brazil. But soccer is still huge over there. Then we have volleyball and maybe basketball is the third sport.

What do you remember from your years in Europe (Splitter played for Tau Vitoria, in Spain)? Do you still follow the Euroleague?

I have great friends in Europe, especially in Spain where I played for ten years. I almost grew up over there. I have a very special feeling for my former team and my former teammates. So yes I still go on the Euroleague website to see the stats and how my friends are doing.

The Olympics will take place in Brazil in 2016. Would you like to be carrying the flag for your country?

That's a tough question. I don't know who is going to carry the flag. It's obviously a very special moment and there are a lot of people who could do it. It's hard to tell right now.

Let's finish by talking about the Spurs. Did Tim Duncan help you adjust to the NBA?

Yes, especially last summer. Me and Tim, we had a lot of time to work out together. And working out every day with a guy like him was incredible. He gave me a lot of confidence. Yes he helped me a lot.

What do you think of your relationship on the court with Tony Parker?

He is a great pick and roll player. He knows how to read defenses, where to pass the ball and how to find the open guy. When you have a great point guard like TP on your team, everything becomes easier.