Tony Parker focusing on extra preparation in order to stay healthy

SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker never expressed concern about his subpar performance over the summer in the Eurobasket tournament, in which he connected on 32.3 percent of attempts from the field as France fell in the semifinals.

That's because the stat line couldn't measure what's most important for Parker these days: his health.

"I felt great," Parker said. "I just didn't make shots."

At 33, Parker sounds to believes the accuracy will return eventually, as the San Antonio Spurs wrap up their first week of training camp. His most pressing concern for 2015-16 is maintaining good health, a feat the point guard failed to accomplish last season in producing his lowest output -- 14.4 points and 4.9 assists per game -- since coming into the league as a 19-year-old rookie.

While San Antonio's integration of new additions with the established stalwarts remains the hottest topic around the team headed into the season, Parker's health and ability to successfully engineer the offense might rank as No. 2. The Spurs thrive when Parker is aggressively finishing at the rim, pushing the ball in transition and kicking it out to the wings for long-range opportunities.

Before a subpar 2014-15 season, when he was significantly affected by a left hamstring strain suffered in December, Parker had made three consecutive All-Star appearances.

Interestingly, Parker suffered the injury after not competing for the French national team during the summer in order to stay healthy for the NBA season.

"First two months [of last season, I felt good]," Parker said. "Once I got my hamstring thing, it dragged all season long. It was just one of those years. Things happen over the course of a career. You have ups and downs. Now I just want to put it behind me. It's a new season, and I feel healthy. So I'm ready to go. Last year was the first year that I really had [an] injury. So it was new for me. It was hard to accept it. I accepted it, and [now] I have to prepare differently. I just have to understand that I'm not 25 anymore, and if I want to play at the same high level, it takes more time to prepare."

To prevent a repeat of last season, Parker said he does "everything different" in terms of preparation that now includes "a lot of warmups" with the team's training staff in addition to a more comprehensive stretching regimen. Parker also reached out for "a lot of conversations with [two-time MVP] Steve Nash to see what he does."

"We put that in my program," Parker added. "So far it's working."

The Spurs need it to continue. Coach Gregg Popovich recently said Parker has looked good throughout the first week of camp.

Parker, meanwhile, recognizes all the extra preparation is "just reality" for an aging player.

Parker played in 68 games last season and has played in fewer than 70 games in each of the past three seasons. Parker has played in more than 150 games for France over his career, which equates to nearly two full extra seasons.

"If I want to play at the level I was playing in 2014 when we won the championship, I have to do [the extra work]," Parker said. "It takes more time, more commitment, more sacrifice. I'm ready to do it. I'll do anything just to get back to that championship level. I just want to be healthy. I just want to feel good. I don't really have a goal statwise. My only goal this year is to be healthy because I know if I'm healthy, I'll play well."