Joffrey Lauvergne signing with the San Antonio Spurs earlier this summer wasn’t a mere coincidence, but rather more than just a gut call for a franchise that is known for signing international players.
The stretch big man was offered a roster spot after his French compatriot Tony Parker vouched for him after a random dinner encounter, which took place by happenstance.
“For the record, Tony was spending his holidays in the same place as me. One night, we met in a restaurant by total chance. The next day he called me and said ‘yesterday we were together for 20 minutes and you didn’t even tell me that the San Antonio Spurs were interested in you!’ I replied that I didn’t go with the flow and in the meantime, they had called him to take information. Apparently, he pushed the Spurs to sign me,” Lauvergne told French site L’Equipe, translated by EuroHoops.
The 25-year-old is putting wheels in motion as he and his national team mates prepare for this summer’s Euro competition, later withstanding a barrage of questions from the French press about this new stage of his career playing under Spurs’ boss and new head coach of Team USA, Gregg Popovich.
“San Antonio is a franchise that will be more appropriate for me when it comes to the environment and the mentality,” said Lauvergne. “The way they see things is closer to mine. There are a lot of foreign guys and Tony being there is going to help me. I don’t know Gregg Popovich personally, but he seems to be a straight person. This the first time I sign somewhere and the coach calls me. It weighs, already.”