France star Tony Parker has announced he will take two years out of international basketball to focus on his NBA career.
Parker collected NBA Finals MVP honours in leading the San Antonio Spurs to the NBA crown in June, but coach Gregg Popovich is concerned that he will not be able to recreate that sort of form on a regular basis given his crowded schedule.
After the EuroBasket last month in Spain, Popovich talked to Parker and asked him to skip next year's EuroBasket qualifiers.
"He wants me take a rest, much like Manu Ginobili did this summer by not playing the tournament of the Americas, a tournament that was the Olympic Games qualifier," Parker said on his personal website.
"Of course, he has no problem with me playing the Euro 2009 in Poland. I will thus have a two years hiatus from the national team."
Parker, 25, enjoyed a whirlwind summer, marrying Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria in Paris soon after the NBA Finals.
However, France's EuroBasket campaign was a major disappointment as the they could only manage an eighth-place finish.
The blame could not be attached to Parker, who turned in averages of 20.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, but he has accepted Popovich's advice that he needs some rest.
"(The Spurs) know that the national team is something special for me but they think it is now the best time for me to take a much deserved break and rest my body," he said.
"It has been many years that I have played more than 120 games a year. In the end, my body is at risk and Pop does not want to take any risks with me. At least now, everyone knows what the future is about for me and the national team."