Parker ready to do his part

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

WATERLOO -- Anthony Parker is not the star attraction on the Raptors or even in his own family, but that is just the way he likes it.

While he was a big fish in a smaller pond as the MVP of the Euroleague the past two years with Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel, Parker is more than happy shifting out of the limelight now that he is back in the NBA.

The brother of Candace Parker, the only college player on the American squad at the women's world basketball championship last month in Brazil, Anthony Parker's willingness to simply be one of the guys becomes evident when he is asked about his famous sister.

"I feel bad for her," the personable Parker said on the third day of Raptors training camp yesterday at RIM Park.

"I've been around people where everywhere they go people recognize them. That's a tough, tough life and a tough thing to adjust to. I'm happy for her (for achieving so much at the age of 20) but at the same time I don't know if I would want to trade places with her."

The 6-foot-6 guard/forward, was the go-to guy with Maccabi Tel Aviv for much of his five-year stay in Israel, his basketball home after a forgettable three years in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic. He was given the ball in the dying seconds against the Raptors in Maccabi's memorable pre-season game in Toronto last season and he responded, hitting the buzzer-beater jumper for a stunning win for the road team.

TRANSITION

In Toronto, Parker's role figures to change dramatically. A player named Chris Bosh is the clear star. Parker may not even be a starter. But he expects the transition to be smooth.

"I don't think it's too much of an adjustment," Parker said. "I had the green light to make plays but I've never had the green light to take bad shots or whatever kind of shots I wanted. Coach (Sam Mitchell) told us when we have the shot, take the shot and I'm a pretty good judge of when I have a good shot and when I don't. That's all it is.

"I fully realize I'm not the No. 1 option here, but at the same time it's not as much pressure on my shoulders so it's good that way."

It was a completely different story in Israel.

"It's harder going from the NBA to Europe because having not played (much) for three years (in the NBA) and then going into a situation where you've got to do it (play well), if the team's losing or you're not getting it done for a couple of games, it's on you," Parker said. "They change you real fast over there. You don't get too much adjustment time."

With fleet-footed T.J. Ford running the offence in Toronto, Parker could find himself with plenty of open looks. Having shot better than 55% from the field in the past four Euroleague seasons, Parker should benefit from Ford's pass-first philosophy.

"(Ford) is so fast and (defences) have to help on him, you have to collapse," Parker said. "Whenever defences collapse, if you're in the right spot and you have good spacing, you're going to get open shots."


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