May 19, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) reacts after a play during the first quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies in game one of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at AT

Tony Parker Turned Away at Memphis Restaurant

Spurs point guard Tony Parker wanted to eat dinner out in Memphis on Friday night, and he couldn’t have picked a better spot: Restaurant Iris, a French and Creole eatery that’s considered one of the finest dining establishments in the state of Tennessee.

Unfortunately, Iris is as small as it is popular, and Parker didn’t have a reservation. Proprietor and head chef Kelly English confirmed a report that he turned Parker away, and the story swirled gleefully around Twitter before English had a chance to elaborate.

“This has gotten way out of proportion,” he told the Commercial Appeal the next day. “The hotel where he’s staying called, we didn’t have any availability, and that’s the end of the story.”

Before the details were ironed out, there was speculation that Parker was purposefully “denied service” due to his affiliation with a certain San Antonio basketball team. English explained more fully in a statement released on his website:

“Due to the size of our restaurant, there is currently a two-week delay for a weekend reservation. We would not cancel a reservation that a guest made — and waited two weeks for — in order to make room for someone else without a reservation — celebrity or not.”

Sounds perfectly reasonable. Although, one has to wonder: if one of the Grizzlies were looking for a table, would English would have been more hospitable? His twitter photo is, after all, full of grit and grind.


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