Tony Parker‘s long run as the Spurs’ starting point guard – which began as a teenager who’d just come from France in 2001 – ended when he ceded way to Dejounte Murray last season. Parker’s time in San Antonio ended when he signed with the Hornets last summer. Parker’s 17-year playoff streak – which trails only Karl Malone and John Stockton all-time – ended when Charlotte missed the postseason this year.
And now Parker’s great career will end entirely.
Parker, via Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:
“I’m going to retire,” Parker told The Undefeated. “I decided that I’m not going to play basketball anymore.”
“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 is a lock for the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili formed the core of the Spurs’ dynasty. They won four championships together, Parker winning 2007 NBA Finals MVP. Parker received an MVP vote in seven different seasons, peaking at fifth place in 2012. He made three All-NBA second teams and an All-NBA third team and six All-Star teams. It’s a heck of a resumé.
Though Parker spoke of playing 20 seasons, he finishes with 18. That’s nothing for him to hang his head about. The 37-year-old lasted far longer than most and had a storied career.
Parker’s $5.25 million salary for next season is unguaranteed. The Hornets will surely waive him. Parker previously said he’d retire with the Spurs. He could sign an unguaranteed deal with them just to get waived again, the technical process behind a sentimental move.
No matter how Parker ties this up, he’ll be remembered for his time in San Antonio – as a winner, as a pioneering European guard and as an all-time great player.