CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Tony Parker admitted that this was a very difficult decision for him as he agreed to join Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets on a repored 2-year $10 million deal after spending 17 seasons with Greg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs.
Gregg Popovich, later released a statement on the impact the point guard had on the franchise.
“It’s difficult to put into words how important Tony Parker has been to the Spurs franchise over the past two decades,” Popovich said. “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.”
During his career, the six-time All-Star averaged 15.8 points and 5.7 assists. He was part of 137 playoff wins with Popovich, the second most by any coach and player in NBA history. Popovich and Spurs star Tim Duncan combined for 157 playoff wins.
Parker was part of the Spurs’ Big Three with Duncan and Manu Ginobili. Duncan has retired, Parker is now gone and Ginobili’s status for next season is unknown.
Parker has also appeared in 17 consecutive postseasons; only Karl Malone and John Stockton’s run of 19 straight playoff trips are longer.
The move reunites Parker with new Charlotte coach James Borrego, who most recently was an assistant in San Antonio. And Parker is close friends with Charlotte’s Nicolas Batum, who predictably was thrilled by the news.