France’s Tony Parker retiring from international play

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Tony Parker said a couple years ago he’d retire from international competition following the 2016 Olympics.

After France’s quarterfinal loss to Spain today, the Spurs guard followed through on his plan.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Parker never medal in the Olympics or FIBA World Cup (previously called the FIBA World Championships), but he had a distinguished international career in lower levels. He’s the all-time leading scorer in Eurobasket history.

The focus now turns to San Antonio, where Parker can help fill the leadership void created by Tim Duncan‘s retirement. More importantly, Parker will start at point guard for a team trying to win behind Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol.

Parker said he plans to play at least five more NBA seasons, which would mean he’d still be active for the 2017 Eurobasket and 2019 World Cup. Would he consider playing in either? He insists no, and the Spurs would probably prefer him lightening the load as he enters his late 30s. But national pride can be persuasive.