The San Antonio Spurs lost one of their franchise legends, Tony Parker, to the Charlotte Hornets.
Tony Parker became the only unrestricted free agent, heading into the offseason, from the San Antonio Spurs. That’s aside from the player options and those with restricted free-agent status. Though, he became the first Spur from the 2017-18 team to depart.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Parker agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets. This ends his 17-year run with the Silver and Black.
Tony Parker has agreed to a two-year, $10M deal with Charlotte, league source tells ESPN
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2018
Via Sam Amick of USA Today, Gregg Popovich spoke on Parker’s departure from San Antonio. He provided a heartfelt statement:
Gregg Popovich statement on the departure of Spurs legend Tony Parker to Charlotte pic.twitter.com/GDsUbi9zgJ
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 6, 2018
It’s the end of an era, as Parker held a spot amongst the franchise’s all-time greats since 2001, when the Spurs selected him out of France. He won four championships (2003, 2005, 2007, 2014), including one NBA Finals MVP award, and held the starting point guard position from 2001 to January 2018.
Parker’s run in the Alamo City hit a snag when Dejounte Murray replaced him as the team’s starting point guard. This pushed the 35-year-old, who had already missed part of the season with a quad injury, to a full-time bench role for the first time in his career.
After the postseason, Parker hinted at a future beyond San Antonio. With the frequent player movement in free agency, especially amongst the league’s greats, floating from team to team, it’s difficult to not take those comments seriously, even from a franchise stalwart. Of course, that came to fruition Friday.
Parker is the first of the “Big 3” Spurs to leave the organization for another team (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili). It will be strange to see him in a different NBA uniform, so fans should have the inevitable San Antonio vs. Charlotte matchup circled in the 2018-19 season. Look for him to settle into a backup role behind Kemba Walker.