Tony Parker started at point guard for the Spurs longer than most people do most things. His was a stretch that lasted from late 2001 until this year, when Parker slid aside upon the sight of onrushing second-year guard Dejounte Murray. Tony eased the transition respectfully, acknowledging the 21-year old’s knack for handling all this.
NBA resumes never come this mountainous, without the seeming burden of San Antonio’s expectation to work until June, but Parker prevailed. Sixteen-plus years is the length of the lifetime’s worth of trust needed to cash in on a driver’s license. If public transport is more your thing, your first day on Twitter probably came with Tony only midway through his run as Spurs starter.
The drill goes directly in because Parker and coach Gregg Popovich — son of a pro player and Son of This Earth — never really cared for anything less than on the record. Their relationship wasn’t saddled with outsized expectations from its professional start and freed from that burden the duo had no choice but to keep it achingly sincere. And to be smartasses.
Some hallway conversations just happen to be the loudest in the office, you needn’t read too much into the stuff that literally everyone can hear. The shouts don’t have to come from the most important people in the building or the most desperate for attention, not even even the most careless. Some dudes are just loud around each other, anger isn’t what’s pumping up those word balloons.
We’ll get just as many of those interactions now, even with Parker on the bench, because it’s never been about the last incident with these two.
They just can’t help but chatter, Parker’s necessary movement from seat to “SUB!” leads him briskly past the bristliest coach of all, and now Tony has to run plays!
If the 35-year old thought he could ease into his Terry Porter Years as a cog in a beautiful basketball machine, one of those airy San Antonio intangibles that works without form and shape, he’ll have to wait out the paperwork, first.
Pop has done well to pair Parker with San Antonio’s typical assortment of thick-wristed shovel-passers since Tony hit the pine, but combo-platters like Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills can’t wrest like they used to, and neither can Parker. The salamander burns a little blue.
The Spurs boast a comfortable, if not exactly devastating, array of options. Rudy Gay gave it the rundown after Pop admitted on Wednesday that, yeah, at this point the relationship between Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs might not be able to share a court any time soon:
“[Pop] He gave you an answer. We support Kawhi, but we can’t sit around waiting for anybody. We’re a team. People have stepped up. LaMarcus [Aldridge] has stepped up. Kyle [Anderson] has stepped up. Davis [Bertans] has stepped up. People are definitely trying to fill the role as best they could.”
Bertans and Anderson are slicksters with big butts that leave semi-legal barriers in place long enough to present Parker with what he loves (basketball) best — more Spurs, in that field of vision, than opponents. Claps are to be acknowledged with appropriate backs once LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol towel off in time for short bursts of tall buildings with Tony still on the court.
By the time the fourth quarter hits, though, Murray closes the close ones.
Parker stands in front of the bench, Guy in Shorts in Winter, looking like he’s ready to pick the kids up from practice.