However, pair now have a close friendship as chase for success continues.
San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker has revealed that long-time team-mate and friend Tim Duncan didn’t speak to him during his rookie year in 2001.
Having led the franchise to 13 straight 50-win seasons, five straight Southwest Division titles and three NBA titles since Parker entered the league, the two players have undoubtedly become integral components to the Spurs’ success.
However, the Frenchman has revealed that after initially making the move Stateside, Duncan wasn’t particularly easy to click with straight away.
“He didn’t talk to me for a whole year,” Parker said after practice Monday, as reported by ESPN.
“It was kind of weird coming from France and you have your superstar player that doesn’t talk to you as a point guard, it’s kind of tough, you know? Because you’re supposed to talk to everybody.
“But as we grew together in the league and he trusted me more, I can really say it’s a special relationship because I feel close to him on the court. But even off the court, we’ve both been through a lot of stuff throughout our career so I think it got us closer.”
Both Parker and Duncan were vital in Sunday’s win over the Dallas Mavericks to take a one-game lead in their opening round playoff series, with Duncan scoring a game-high 27 points to go with seven rebounds while Parker added 21 points and six assists.
It came at a vital time as others around them struggled with their shooting, but ultimately along with coach Gregg Popovich they are fully aware that success is defined by titles, and after the heartbreak of last year they will be keen to complete the job this time round.
Parker conceded that he spoke openly with Duncan after winning their first title and it was only at that point that he felt comfortable in staying in San Antonio.
Meanwhile, Manu Ginobili reported to practice after his wife gave birth to their third child on Monday, with Popovich sharing the story with the media in his usual jovial way.
“He went in [the hospital] this morning and a half an hour later, he’s back at practice,” Popovich said. “Pretty efficient guy.”.