Jun 16, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) smiles prior to the start of the second half against the Miami Heat in game five of the 2013 NBA Finals at the AT
Tony Parker just completed his 12th year in the league. He was a big factor in leading the San Antonio Spurs to the playoffs for the sixteenth consecutive year as well as their fifth trip back to the NBA Finals. Tony Parker has come a long way since the day he put on a San Antonio Spurs jersey.
During the 2012-2013 campaign, he averaged 20.3 points per game, 7.6 assists, 3.0 rebounds. He also hit 52% of his shots and a career best 84% from the free throw line. With his play this season, Parker was mentioned with the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant in the MVP race. With an injury sidelining him, his quest for that award came to an end.
Jun 18, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) shoots against Miami Heat small forward Shane Battier (31) during the second half of game six in the 2013 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mike Segar\Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Parker though did not let that put a damper to what he was on a mission to do this season and that was reach the playoffs and fight for another NBA title for Tim Duncan. How valuable is Parker? In games this season, whether he was hurt, or on the bench taking a breather, the Spurs themselves seem to as well. Parker is not only the point guard on the team, but he has truly been a team leader and has been more vocal to his teammates.
When he first came into the league, I knew he would be successful but to the point where he would be running the team? I assure you many of you felt the same way. I am though glad that he has developed into one of the premier point guards in the league. He has proven that he does not need to score 30+ to help the Spurs win games. His penetration to me is his best asset and makes teams running around with their heads cut off.
What I love about Parker and his game, he is usually the smallest guy on the floor, he doesn’t let his height, or lack there of, be a hinder to how he plays. Granted some may say that he is going in the lane with reckless abandon and just trying to draw a foul, which is a good thing, others may feel he needs to control it so he does not get injured. He has proven how strong and physical of a player that he is. He has shown that he is not worried about bigger guys guarding him or getting bumped. The NBA is a physical game, he knows that, he has come out of games bruised and sore I am sure.
Though the season did not end the way he nor the San Antonio Spurs liked, he squashed all those nay-sayers stating that he is not the best point guard in the league. He led his team to the NBA Finals. Something that those other so called “top point guards” in the league can say.