On Monday, NBA veteran Tony Parker, 37, announced that he has decided to retire after playing for 18 seasons.
According to ESPN, he made the announcement on “Undefeated,” and said, “I’m going to retire. … I decided that I’m not going to play basketball anymore.”
He has spent most of his career playing for the San Antonio Spurs after being drafted back in 2001, and last played with the Charlotte Hornets during the 2018-2019 season. He’ll be retiring with 1,254 regular-season games played under his belt. As well as, the achievement of being the first European to become an NBA Finals MVP back in 2007.
During his interview, Tony talked about what led to his decision and said, “A lot of different stuff ultimately led me to this decision. But at the end of the day, I was like, if I can’t be a Tony Parker anymore and I can’t play for a championship, I don’t want to play basketball anymore.”
Tony’s legacy in the league definitely includes being a part of the Spurs’ Big Three with Tim Ducan and Manu Ginobili. He broke the retirement news to them while out during lunch in San Antonio.
Tony said they questioned if he was sure about his decision. Once he reassured, he said they said, “‘If you’re sure, man, I’m so happy for you. I’m so happy for you. We had a great run and can’t wait to beat you up on tennis and spending more time together.’”
Gregg Popovich, the Spurs head coach, spoke highly of Tony and said, “Tony Parker obviously has had an amazing career. I’ve had a blessing to be with him since he was 19 years old.”
James Borrego, the head coach of the Hornets, sent his congratulations to Tony and said, “I have never known the NBA without Tony as a part of it and I’ll truly miss him. Tony’s leadership, his presence and his dedication to winning made an impact on shaping me and I’ll always be appreciative of him. I know our organization in Charlotte is grateful for what he brought to us in our year together. I wish him nothing but the best as he moves on to retirement.”
Congrats to Tony Parker on having an outstanding career.