It’s hard to believe that it was just two years ago that there was a very serious debate about who was the best point guard in basketball, Chris Paul or Tony Parker. And there was good reason for that. Parker, at the time, was averaging better than 20 points and nearly eight assists per game that season. But his numbers have declined steadily since then as age and injuries have coincided with the emergence of Kawhi Leonard.
Now, you’d be hard-pressed to put Parker in your current top 10 list of the league’s best at that position. After all, as he inches closer to his mid-30s, his role is being redefined, especially considering the addition of LaMarcus Aldridge. And that’s all perfectly fine with Parker. Being surrounded by young talent will alleviate a lot of that pressure. He’ll need it if he wants to meet his goal of playing until he’s 38. Via Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express News:
“I understand my role is going to change,” said Parker. “I don’t need to score as much and I have to get LaMarcus and Kawhi (going). I know my role is changing, but I love it. The way that (Tim Duncan) changed towards Manu (Ginobili), and Manu changed towards me, it’s the same thing with me now.”
It’s all part of the Spurs’ ethos, and coach Gregg Popovich’s unique ability to get his superstars to buy into his various philosophies is a big reason why they’ve been so consistently successful. If everything goes as planned, they’re perfectly primed to make another serious run at a championship this season. Not only that, it’ll be one more significant step toward the ultimate transition of power from the Big Three era to the new guard.
(Via San Antonio Express News)