Building the Hall of Fame case for Tony Parker over Pau Gasol

Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs / Jeff Gross/GettyImages
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Gasol and Parker had identical careers

At first glance, Gasol and Parker had very similar careers. Both were six-time All-Stars, four-time All-NBA, on the 2001-2002 All-Rookie team, and both won multiple championships. Parker gets the edge over Gasol, four to two, but Gasol won Rookie of the Year in 2002. Parker won Finals MVP in 2007.

Their offensive efficiency was about the same throughout their careers, and Gasol was marginally the better defender. Gasol only scored 1,421 more points than Parker, but Gasol was the first option for the first six years of his career. Parker never really had that luxury. 

The first way that Parker really stands out over Gasol was longevity. Both entered the league at the same time and called it quits in the same season, but Parker was more productive than Gasol. Sure, both made six All-Star Games, and Gasol stretched his appearance over a longer period of time, but Parker was the second-best player on winning teams for longer. There’s no doubt that Duncan was better than Parker and that Bryant was better than Gasol, but each was brought in to play second fiddle. 

Kobe and company tried adding Nash, Howard, World Peace, Andrew Bynum, and even Jeremy Lin to prolong their dynasty, but the Spurs were content with chugging along with TP playing the supporting role of Duncan. The Lakers were a revolving door of talent, while the Spurs stayed stagnant in their winning ways.