During the NBA offseason, Tony Parker decided to leave the San Antonio Spurs after 17 years with the team, and sign a two-year deal with Charlotte Hornets. While many people thought that Parker’s decision was a result of weak Spurs’ offer and organization’s desire to move on from him, the truth is somewhat different.
During his recent chat with France’s L’Expresso, Tony Parker gave us some insights into his decision, revealing that the Spurs gave him the same offer like the Hornets, but that he went with the opportunity to play a more prominent role with Charlotte.
“The Spurs offered me the same thing (contractually) as Charlotte, but it was more about the role. It was not a question of money.” – said Parker. “And it’s important that people know this because there are a lot of people who were “angry” at the Spurs, thinking the franchise had not offered me anything. Yes, they offered me something similar, but I did not want to finish (as an) assistant-coach. And that was the role they offered me, when I wanted to play.”
“And when Michael Jordan called me, my idol, I thought, let’s go. For me, I feel like closing the loop, to finish my career in his club, it’s something special for me because it’s him that made me want to play basketball.” – the 36-year-old added.
After starting his professional career in native France, Tony Parker was selected 28th overall in the 2001 NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs. He became one of the franchise’s cornerstones in the following years, alongside Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, and managed to win four NBA Championships during his time in San Antonio.
Over the course of his NBA career, Parker averaged 15.8 points, 5.7 assists, and 2.8 rebounds.