Tony Parker’s international basketball career came to an end this week, but the veteran point guard says he plans to play in the NBA for five more years.
Parker, 34 is heading into his 16th season with the San Antonio Spurs. Parker, in an interview with USA Today stated he wants to end his career with San Antonio on a high note. With Tim Duncan
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announcing his retirement during the start of summer, part of the Spurs ‘Big 3’ was starting to fall apart. With one gone, Manu Ginobili was almost at that point as well. Not retiring, but possibly on his way to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Ginobili though knew where his heart was at that was in San Antonio. With he and Parker once again joining forces alongside each other yet again, they will help lead the Spurs to another title run for the Alamo City.
There is going to be a time when we are all going to sit here and reflect back on both Parker and Ginobili’s career, but as of now, we hold off. Ginobili will be the next to hang up the sneakers and as Parker stated to USA Today, he plans on playing for years to come.
Parker said he told San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich this would be his final international competition. […] “I want to end my Spurs career on a high note. I want to play five more years,”
Apr 2, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) drives to the basket past Toronto Raptors forward Patrick Patterson (54) during the second quarter at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Parker and the Spurs had a season to remember during the 2015-16 campaign. Though it did not end with San Antonio raising another banner to the rafters, they did set goals as a team and achieved them. Making history in winning a franchise record 67 games during the regular season and making their 19th consecutive appearance in the post season-all of which under the Duncan era.
There is still fire left in the French point guard. Parker did not have his best season with San Antonio last year. There were times when he went away from what has made him unstoppable. His penetration was there, but the finishing at the rim was not. He was more of a facilitator. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that.
When you have Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili on your team, you may not need to score. But, there were times when Parker needed to step up, and didn’t. This season may not be any different than last for Parker. Pau Gasol, Davis Bertans, Livio Jean-Charles, Dejounte Murray, there are plenty of new faces for the Spurs this coming season that may take away from Parker needing to score.
For someone that has the fire, passion and desire to play at the top of his game and wants to leave the game at the top, you have to respect that. During the Olympic games in Rio, Parker’s play reflected his season with San Antonio. He was not looking to score.
I am all for one player to make a statement that he is hungry to play another five more years, but you have to be productive in those five years. You can’t come out and think you can play the way that you have a season ago and be able to help this team compete with the Golden State Warriors, whom are to no surprise, the favorites to win the title-multiple times.
Parker is coming off of a season where he averaged 11.9 points, 5.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. He shot 49 percent from the floor but that was making five of his attempted 10 shots per game. He was not aggressive at the offensive end as I, nor Spurs fans would of liked to see. He is a scorer. One of the leagues best in the paint.
That is the Parker I want to see back in San Antonio next season leading the charge and pushing them to new heights.