After 18 seasons in the NBA, San Antonio Spurs legend Tony Parker has officially announced his retirement from professional basketball.
Just like that, another Spurs legend has decided to call it a career.
In an interview with The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears, point guard Tony Parker, who spent 17 seasons with the Black and Silver, announced that he will be retiring from playing basketball. It was only fitting that Parker made the announcement in San Antonio, the city where he spent all but one season of his Hall of Fame career.
TP ends what will surely be a first-ballot Hall of Fame career with averages of 15.5 points, 5.6 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game. The Frenchman, who was drafted 28th overall by the Spurs back in 2001 and rides into the sunset as a six-time All-Star, four-time NBA Champ, four-time All-NBA selection, and 2007 Finals MVP
Parker’s name covers the all-time record books for the Spurs, finishing as the franchise’s all-time leader in assists with 6,829 – over 2,000 more than second place Avery Johnson and 17th in NBA history in total dimes. He’s amongst the Top 5 in most of the franchise’s stats including points, field goals made, and games played. His 1,254 games played are tied with Paul Silas for 34th all-time.
Parker joined formed Spurs assistant coach James Borrego in Charlotte this past season after the Spurs and Parker decided to mutually part ways. Parker had previously mentioned that his goal was to play 20 seasons, but decided that his 18th would be his last. The decision was due in part to the lack of success the Hornets had last season, although he does not regret his decision to join the Hornets.
“For 17 years, every year that I started with the Spurs, I really thought that we had a good chance to win the championship. And so it was very weird to arrive to a team and you’re like, ‘There is no way we’re going to win the championship.’ And even if I had a great time — and the Charlotte players, they were great with me and they were great guys — at the end of the day I play basketball to win something…”
Parker developed from a teenager with raw talent into a poised leader as he got older, directing the Spurs offense through his high basketball IQ. His patented pull-up jumper off the pick-and-roll and acrobatic finishing ability at the rim terrorized defenses throughout his career.
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There was hope that Parker would play his 20th season as a Spur, but those dreams are now over. However, a 10-day contract to have him officially retire as a member of the Black and Silver is still an option, and as Air Alamo’s own Melanie James wrote, it’s only fitting he end his career in San Antonio. When asked if he wanted a farewell tour like Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade received this year, his answer was simple: “‘No, because it’s not on the Spurs jersey.’”
It’s a sad day for Spurs fans, not just because of Parker’s retirement, but also because of what it signals – the legendary Big 3, which won 701 regular season and playoff games together, have all retired.
Parker intends to continue his career in basketball, even if it’s not on the court as a player. He’s the owner of ASVEL in France, whose women’s team just won their first championship.
He also has an international school opening in September, which he sees as his opportunity to “give back to my country, give back to the young generation.” Parker isn’t ruling out owning an NBA team either, saying that’s his ultimate goal.
But until then, enjoy retirement. From Spurs fans across the globe: Merci, Tony.