Tony Parker, earlier today during an interview with ESPN’s The Undefeated Marc Spears, shared the reason why he requested Spears to his home in San Antonio to announce that he is retiring from the NBA.
“I’m going to retire,” Parker told The Undefeated. “I decided that I’m not going to play basketball anymore.”
The Spurs drafted Parker with the 28th pick in the 2001 draft, and the future first-ballot Hall of Famer went on to rack up numerous accomplishments, including sixth All-Star appearances, 4 NBA Championships in five appearances, named to four All-NBA teams, and a Finals MVP during the 2006-2007 NBA season.
Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili are considered some of the greatest trios in sports history under future Hall of Fame coach Gregg Popovich. The group would win four NBA Championships during their time in San Antonio, as Parker became the first player from Europe to be named Finals MVP in 2007.
Throughout his 18-year career, Parker averaged 15.5 points, 5.6 assists, and 2.7 rebounds. Last season, Parker was a Charlotte Hornets member under former Spurs assistant coach James Borrego and averaged 9.5 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists during 56 games in a Hornets uniform. In his final game in the NBA, Parker scored 11 points in a loss to the Miami Heat on March 17th.
Parker also told The Undefeated, “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 not the only NBA legend that decided to walk away from the NBA this past year Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade will also be joining him in retirement.
It is ironic because all three have been in each other’s way as they played for the NBA’s ultimate goal: the NBA Championship. Nowitzki and Wade had their battles in the 2006 and 2011 NBA Finals, which won a championship for Wade in 2006 and Nowitzki in 2011. As for Parker, he and Wade would face off in 2013 and 2014. The 2013 NBA Finals would conclude after a game seven victory for the Miami Heat, but Ray Allen would actually take the Spurs’ will in game six. Allen hit that shot, falling out of bounds in the corner to send the game into overtime. The Spurs would come back in 2014 and get their revenge in five games and would the Miami Heat Championship reign and sent LeBron James back to Cleveland the following year.
Since 2001, Dirk Nowitzki and Tony Park have faced each other four times in the playoffs, with the Spurs and Tony Parker winning 3 out of 4 except in 2011, which ended with Dirk Nowitzki raising the Finals MVP Trophy. The 2024 Hall of Fame class will be a special one, with Nowitzki, Parker, and Wade all headlining the event in five years. Happy retirement to all three competitors, and we thank you for the memories.
— Landon Buford (@LandonBuford) June 10, 2019