Though it was considered a dark horse to take a medal in the men's basketball tourney at the 2012 Olympics, France's eventual sixth-place ranking is nothing to be ashamed of. Sure, Nicolas Batum's swipe at Juan Carlos Navarro's gentleman's vegetables during the team's deciding loss to Spain last week was embarrassing, but each of the team's NBA stars — Tony Parker, Batum and Boris Diaw — played well enough (though Parker shot 40 percent from the field). On top of that, the team had to deal with off-court frustrations as a severely sprained ankle in the NBA postseason took center Joakim Noah out of the Olympics, and an incident in a nightclub fight sent a piece of glass into Tony Parker's eye while he looked on as an innocent bystander.
Clearly not rattled by his last trip to a posh club, Parker and pals proceeded to put together a $20,000 bar bill in the hours following that loss to Spain. Boris Diaw, fresh off signing a free-agent deal with the San Antonio Spurs that will net him over $9 million in the next two seasons, was left with the tab. From TMZ:
It all went down at Chinawhite Nightclub in London ... San Antonio Spurs studs Tony Parker and Boris Diaw rolled in with their French team Thursday night ... a mere 24 hours after losing to Spain and sealing their elimination from medal contention.
Parker, Diaw and the rest of Team Frenchy popped multiple bottles of Cristal and a magnum-sized Veuve Clicquot ... along with other effective libations.
And they didn't party alone ... sources tell us several members of Germany's women's volleyball team were kickin' with the baskeballers.
(Yes. That's how TMZ spelled "basketballers.")
TMZ reported that Diaw left a $2,000 tip, and while a 10 percent gratuity may not seem like much by American standards, it is quite a bit to leave in London. Restaurants and bars over there enter the cost of service into the bill so as not to stiff the same sort of staffers and workers that in stateside establishments make one-third the minimum wage per hour. Crazy system, I know.
In all, it was a fitting — and very French — tribute to the team's tough Olympic run. France started the Games off with a blowout loss to Team USA before taking close wins over Argentina (impressive), Lithuania (nice), Tunisia (eh, not so much) and Nigeria (definitely not so much). The loss to Spain ended its chances at the medal rounds.
We can only hope that Parker and friends spent what would amount to 20 percent of that 10 percent tip on potassium, aspirin and a full English breakfast the next morning. Extra, extra blood sausage mon amis.
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