For 17 seasons, Tony Parker was a key member of the San Antonio Spurs and, over the course of his career, the French guard amassed four NBA titles, six All-Star appearances, four All-NBA nods and the 2007 NBA Finals MVP. In short, the 36-year-old’s importance to the Spurs franchise is both obvious and noteworthy, especially on the heels of the news that Parker will be spending the next stage of his career with the Charlotte Hornets.
With that in mind, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich penned a heartfelt tribute to Parker, which the Spurs presented on Friday afternoon.
“It’s difficult to put into words how important Tony Parker has been to the Spurs franchise over the past two decades,” Popovich wrote. “From his first game in 2001 at age 19, TP has impressed and inspired us — day-after-day, game-after-game, season-after-season — with his passion, dedication and desire. We are grateful to Tony for 17 years of truly amazing memories. While the four championships, six All-Star appearances and four All-NBA selections highlight his resume, the biggest joy for me has been to have the pleasure of watching TP grow up before our eyes. All of us in the Spurs organization will miss having Tony in our program and wish him and his family the best as he continues his remarkable career in Charlotte.”
All signs point to Parker eventually landing in Springfield as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and Popovich’s words in this case seem to paint that picture clearly. It will be interesting to see what the next step will be for Parker in terms of on-court impact with the Hornets but the basketball world already knows that he was integral to what San Antonio was able to build over nearly two decades and Popovich clearly echoed that sentiment.