After Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili‘s retirement in recent years, Tony Parker decided to hang up the sneakers today as the final member of the San Antonio Spurs’ legendary Big Three to call it a career.
The summer of 2018 was the end of an era for the San Antonio Spurs’ franchise.
Tim Duncan had retired in 2016, even though he’s still heavily connected to the organization, Manu Ginobili finally retired in 2018 after years of speculation about when his career would eventually be over, and Tony Parker signed with the Charlotte Hornets that same summer after the Spurs had spent two consecutive first round draft picks trying to find their next point guard.
However, there was still a chance that Parker would return to San Antonio for one last season before riding off into the sunset.
That dream ended on Monday as the legendary French point guard told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears that “if I can’t be Tony Parker anymore and I can’t play for a championship, I don’t want to play basketball anymore.”
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Parker scored 9.5 points with 3.7 assists in 17.9 minutes per game for Charlotte last season, but his true shooting percentage remained low at 51.2% as it had during his final two years with the Spurs.
Parker still showed flashes of the talent that made him a six-time All-Star and an NBA Finals MVP, including an eight-point fourth quarter during his final game in San Antonio as he led the Hornets to an impressive road victory.
That game will end up being his final performance in the Alamo City, and it was heartwarming to see that some of his old moves still work even if it was at the expense of his former team.
The Big Three of Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker brought four NBA titles to San Antonio as they combined to make 23 All-Star teams, 21 All-NBA teams, 3 All-Rookie teams, and helped create one of the greatest dynasties in the history of professional sports.
Their chemistry and unselfishness, combined with an unreal symbiosis with their coach Gregg Popovich, will never be duplicated in the NBA, and we were fortunate to be reminded of their greatness this season with Manu Ginobili’s jersey retirement ceremony and Tony Parker’s final game in San Antonio.
There is no doubt that Parker’s jersey will be hanging in the rafters alongside his two best friends and teammates’, and it will be a joy to see the fellas get back together again to celebrate his accomplishments during that ceremony.
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But this is a sad day for Spurs fans and basketball fans around the world as the remnants of one of the NBA’s greatest trios are finally finished with their historic playing careers.