NBA legend Tony Parker could move into soccer role, says Lyon president

NBA legend Tony Parker could move into soccer role, says Lyon president

Six-time NBA All-Star Tony Parker could swap the hardwood for the pitch after impressing as president of ASVEL Basket, France’s most decorated basketball team.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, 71, intends to retire at the age of 75 so is beginning to seek his potential successor at one of the country’s biggest soccer clubs. And Parker, who became a keen fan of the sport from spending some of his early years in Europe, is under consideration to be Aulas’ replacement.

“It is true that Tony has the profile to run a professional global sports operation,” Aulas told L’Equipe over the weekend, as translated by ESPN’s Jonathan Johnson. “As well as the economic and media aspects that go with it.

“I feel that he has the necessary characteristics. As well as professional and human qualities, I have great affection for him and what he represents.

“I do not say this because I have the idea (of stepping down) on my mind, nor have I spoken with Tony. No decision has been made on either side, nor by the board.”

Parker was surprised by Aulas mentioning him as a legitimate candidate, but the 2007 NBA Finals MVP is interested in taking over when the current president calls it a day.

Tolga Adanali / Euroleague Basketball / Getty

“Why not? We have never discussed it,” Parker revealed. “However, if it is true, if he sees me that way and asks me, I think it is a role that cannot be refused.

“It is an honour to be considered for something like this. I have many things to learn from him. We will see in four or five years.”

The 37-year-old former point guard is used to success with ASVEL Basket, scooping up two league titles since becoming a majority shareholder of the team in 2014. Lyon would potentially be a more difficult proposition, though, as the club searches for its first Ligue 1 title since 2008 while Paris Saint-Germain are an overbearing force in the country’s game.