May 27, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker speaks at a press conference after game four of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum. The Spurs won 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Tony Parker made a promise and so far he has come through on that promise that he made to Tim Duncan. Parker promised him that he was going to win the NBA Title for the “Big Fundamental”. Duncan’s years are winding, even though it does not seem so as the 37 year old is proving he is probably playing the best basketball of his career. Parker has been the quiet leader of this team. Though Head Coach Gregg Popovich passed the torch to him, everyone still knows that this team was built around Tim Duncan.
Parker has proven that he is willing to take the team on his back and carry them as far as he can. A player that was in the MVP talks this season, before getting hurt, he mentioned to Duncan at the end of last season and told him he was going to send him back to the finals. This should not come as a surprise to anyone that Parker would say such a thing. A player that has been with the Spurs organization since he was 18 years old, to now being the leader of the Spurs, he was molded into what winning is and he will not settle for less.
May 27, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) brings the ball up court with power forward Tim Duncan (21) against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first half of game four of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports had a chance to talk with Parker on this promise. Here is what he had to say:
Duncan “remembered [the promise] and reminds me every time we passed a playoff round,” Parker told Yahoo! Sports. “He said, ‘We’re going to ride you to the end.
“Timmy means a lot to me. I learned so much from him. From the first day I arrived in San Antonio he’s always had my back. He’s a very good friend, very close to me on the court and off the court.”
“Our first championship we were riding him. He was our franchise. I feel very blessed because now it’s my turn to try to bring this team to the end. If I can do that for him, it would be … unbelievable.”
Tim Duncan is on the verge of receiving his fifth ring while Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili look for their fourth. As fans we knew the hardship and the way the Parker has evolved into one of the elite point guards in the league. It was trying at times but watching him grow is something special. Even Tim Duncan thinks so as well as he told Spears he has been amazing.
“He’s amazing and he’s evolved so much over the past couple of years,” Duncan said of Parker. “To get back to this point with him at the helm, I’m just going to do everything I can to get these four games in and try to win four more for both of us. Obviously, he’s carrying the load and he said he was going to get me back here. It’s a lot of fun to be back here.”
May 27, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (right) talks with point guard Tony Parker (9) in the second half of game four of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
A dynasty that has been forming for a while now and winning this fifth title for San Antonio will only help solidify them in the history books. What needs to be talked about his how they reached the finals this year. They dismantled the Los Angeles Lakers in their first of two sweeps of the post season. The Golden State Warriors, whom many thought would come out and give the Spurs fits, which they did at the start, vanished, with the Spurs taking that series 4 to 2. Then we come to the Memphis Grizzlies where every analyst felt the Grizzlies would win in six, we all know what happened then.
With a 12-2 record during these playoffs, this team looks destined and hungry for another title. Like his teammate Duncan, Parker does not seem to get the love that many in San Antonio surely would think he should be getting. During the regular season and playoffs he has been adding to his legacy, under the radar. Project Spurs brought up a great question. How many all-star point guards have three or more NBA Championships? It is a short list but Parker is certainly there.
Parker hoping to bring that promise into reality with Duncan raising that beautiful trophy to add to the four already in the San Antonio trophy case. This will only add more when everyone talks about Tony Parker and how far he has come as a player.