Tony Parker is headed to the basketball Hall of Fame when eligible: four-time NBA champion, Finals MVP, four-time All-NBA, six-time All-Star, and he has a stellar international resume as well.
However, Parker was not a good mentor to young players coming up, according to former Spur Dejonte Murray.
Murray appeared on the “All the Smoke” podcast and was brutally honest about his relationship with Parker (hat tip CBS Sports).
“I started growing, first year goes by, thrown into the fire in the playoffs versus the Rockets. Then my second year, they see I come back, obviously getting stronger, better. That was the year I took the job from Tony. [Gregg Popovich] brought us into the office, he told Tony. Tony ain’t like it… I know he didn’t like it, because if he liked it, he would’ve mentored me the way he should have. He wouldn’t have went to Charlotte, he would’ve stayed right there.”
Podcast co-host and former NBA player Stephen Jackson piled on Parker.
“I know the type of person Tony is. Great player, gonna go down in the Hall of Fame, but he’s very selfish,” Jackson said. “He’s been selfish, we would’ve had more championships and more success if it wasn’t for him being so selfish…He’s one of the most selfish players I’ve ever played with.”
What would have been fun is Murray being that honest about his relationship with and playing next to Trae Young this season.
It’s a hard line to walk for an aging player, wanting to compete — both on the court, and for minutes on the court — and wanting to help the next generation of players coming up. Parker is under no obligation to mentor Murray and he chose to go where he could get more run rather than hang out in the dying embers of the Spurs’ golden era. It was his call, just not the call Murray wanted or, clearly, expected. Parker played one season in Charlotte and then retired. And we have not heard Parker’s side of the story.
Murray otherwise sang the praises of the Spurs organization and how they developed him. He said that Kawhi Leonard was more of a mentor and that is why he made the All-Defensive Team in his second season (the season he took the starting job away from Parker).
Murray is now getting paid in Atlanta, where he is averaging 20.6 points and 6.1 assists a game, but the team is not having near the success that was expected. Rumblings of tension between Young and coach Nate McMillan have reverberated around the league (and there has already been a front-office shakeup). I can’t wait for the “All the Smoke” podcast where Murray eventually opens up about this season.