SAN ANTONIO Moments after he finished interviews with reporters Tuesday, Heat guard Smush Parker walked back to the security door that leads to the team locker room.
It was locked. His didn't have an access card and, he said, his fingerprint wasn't on file yet in the arena's sophisticated system.
Simply put: Parker was on the outside looking in.
"I hope they're not trying to tell me something," Parker joked. "I don't know if that's a bad sign or what."
The situation might best describe Parker's status at this point in the season. Parker, a former Los Angeles Lakers point guard who was the Heat's biggest free-agent acquisition, enters his fourth game of the season still uncertain of his role with Miami.
He has not played in the past two games. And he is not guaranteed to be in the rotation Wednesday night when the Heat (0-3) visits the defending-champion Spurs.
The Heat faces a difficult stretch as it tries to overcome a slow start without leading scorer Dwyane Wade, who traveled with the team but is not expected to play as he continues his recovery from knee and shoulder surgeries. His absence has left a huge void in the backcourt.
When Parker signed his two-year deal in July, there was talk he would push incumbent Jason Williams for the starting job. But four games into the season, Parker has yet to supplant undrafted second-year guard Chris Quinn as the top backup.