Lithuania beat the United States in the 2004 Olympics, and a rugged guard named Sarunas Jasikevicius was a reason.

Afterward, in the press conference, a European writer asked Larry Brown if Jasikevicius was the best point guard in the world.

Brown wasn't diplomatic. He didn't praise Jasikevicius and then try to frame his answer.

Brown simply said: "Oh, no."

Tony Parker, with the kind of game for France Thursday he showed so often last season for the Spurs, made a case for himself.

Against Jasikevicius.

Jasikevicius has American roots. He went to high school in Pennsylvania, and he played at the University of Maryland. But he became a star in European basketball, and the 2000 Olympics showcased that. He scored 27 points in Sydney against the Americans, and only when his last-second three missed did the U.S. escape.