Spur of the moment: Parker’s retirement marks end of era

Photo courtesy of USA Today

One of the greatest San Antonio Spurs of all time has given his curtain call, marking the true end of an era. “The Frenchman,” Tony Parker, announced after 18 years, he’s calling it a career.

And what a career it was! Parker was a six-time All-Star and the Spurs haven’t missed the playoffs for the better part of two decades. For the most part, they had one floor general leading their remarkable run.

The French Connection

A diamond in the rough, Parker was selected 28th overall in the 2001 NBA draft and helped carry the team to unparalleled success.   During his tenure, he averaged 15.5 points, 5.6 assists and 2.7 rebounds.

His only season with another NBA team was 2018-19 with the Charlotte Hornets under former Spurs assistant coach James Borrego. Parker is the final of the Spurs’ “Big 3” comprised of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to retire.

That trio will be in the Hall of Fame sooner rather than later. Originally, Parker wanted to stay in San Antonio and play 20 season with one team, however things changed.  

“A lot of different stuff ultimately led me to this decision,” Parker said. “But, at the end of the day, I was like, if I can’t be Tony Parker anymore and I can’t play for a championship, I don’t want to play basketball anymore.”  

Parker was one of the best point guards during the prime of his career. The second option to Tim Duncan, he stamped his own legacy as possibly the best French-born player to compete in the NBA.

Helping guide the Spurs to four championships, he joins the Hall of Fame alongside Dwayne Wade and Dirk Nowitzki as first-ballot selectees.    

For any other backup point guard, Parker’s numbers of 9.5 points in 17.9 minutes per game with the Charlotte Hornets would’ve been a great season.

But, when you’ve been one of the best, average is not an option. Now, Spurs fans await Parker’s eventual jersey retirement and their last chance to celebrate the Big 3 together.  

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