Tony Parker is calling it a career.
The longtime San Antonio Spurs point guard told The Undefeated that he has decided to retire after 18 NBA seasons.
🇺🇸 It’s with a lot of emotion that I retire from basketball, it was an incredible journey! Even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would live all those unbelievable moments with the NBA and the French National Team.
Thank you for everything! https://t.co/YKqTlnkG90
— Tony Parker (@tonyparker) June 10, 2019
The 37-year-old native of France played 17 years with the Spurs, winning four NBA titles in the process while teaming up with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili under head coach Gregg Popovich. While Popovich continues to coach the Spurs, Parker will join Duncan and Ginobili in retirement.
Parker, a six-time All-Star, spent the 2018-19 season with the Charlotte Hornets, averaging 9.5 points per game in a reserve role. He finishes his career with averages of 15.5 points, 5.6 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game.
The Spurs selected Parker 28th overall in the 2001 NBA draft. He quickly moved into the starting lineup as a 19-year-old and helped the Spurs win their second NBA title in 2003, his second season in the NBA. He would win three more titles in San Antonio (2005, 2007, 2014) and became the first European-born player to be named Finals MVP in 2007.
Parker often spoke of his desire to play 20 seasons in the NBA, but he said that changed as his season in Charlotte progressed. Moving forward, Parker told The Undefeated he plans to live in San Antonio while also returning to France, where he is the owner and president of AVSEL, a French professional basketball club with men’s and women’s teams.
“Last season was very different for me. I had a great time in Charlotte. This is very different for me after 17 years with the Spurs. And so I knew that the time changed, and I was being very nostalgic,” Parker said. “And being away from the family back in San Antonio, too, that played a little bit of a role [in retiring], and so I came to a conclusion that it was just time to move on.”
Parker said he did not want a farewell season like Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki experienced, and that was mostly because he was no longer wearing a Spurs uniform.
“It was kind of different because I was in there with Charlotte, so I didn’t feel like the need of having a goodbye. For me, the goodbye will be when my jersey will be retired [in San Antonio] or I make the Hall of Fame,” Parker told The Undefeated.
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