Tony Parker announces retirement from NBA after 18 seasons, four championships
Parker played all but the final year of his career with the Spurs
Tony Parker is calling it a career.
"I'm going to retire," Parker said, via The Undefeated. "I decided that I'm not going to play basketball anymore ... A lot of different stuff ultimately led me to this decision," Parker said. "But, at the end of the day, I was like, if I can't be Tony Parker anymore and I can't play for a championship, I don't want to play basketball anymore."
Parker was selected in the first round (28th overall) by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2001 NBA draft, and he played with the Spurs for 17 seasons before playing a single season as a member of the Charlotte Hornets in 2018-19. Parker made six All-Star teams as a member of the Spurs, and he helped lead the organization to four of their five championships. He was named MVP of the 2007 Finals.
Parker played in 1,254 regular season games over the course of his career and finished with career averages of 15.5 points, 5.6 assists and 2.7 rebounds per performance. He also played in 226 playoff games and averaged 17.9 points, 5.1 assists, and 2.9 rebounds in those games.
Though he initially wanted to play in the league for 20 seasons, Parker realized after last season that it was time for him to walk away and focus on other aspects of his life.
"Last season was very different for me," Parker said. "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.
"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. I have a lot of great stuff in my life. A beautiful family. Beautiful kids. And so I wanted to spend more time with them ... and I wanted to play 20 seasons and I still think I can play. I had a good season with the Hornets, and I was healthy. But at the same time, now I don't see any reason to play 20 seasons."
Parker is at peace with his decision because it is something that he has prepared himself for.
"It's been a long time that I've been at peace with that decision because I've prepared myself for that, too, with all the stuff that I'm doing, the two teams I own in France and my international school opening in September," Parker said. "I have so much stuff going on that I've always been at peace with that decision.
"When it comes, I'll be ready to leave it to the young guys. The game of basketball is for young guys. So that's why, for me, I understood very early that when it's time to [retire], I'll be fine with it."
When asked what he'll miss the most, Parker had a simple response.
"Winning," Parker said. "Winning. It never gets old, and so that's why it was nice to win with my women's team, because winning championships is hard to explain to somebody how you feel. As a player, it was great to win championships, and now as an owner, when you build from scratch everything, I'm happier for them. It's priceless to see their faces. But it never gets old. Winning championships never gets old."
Parker walks away as the Spurs all-time leader in assists, and he is also top five in franchise history in games played, points, and steals.
Following his retirement, Parker plans to reside in San Antonio, and he will also spend time in France as the owner and president of ASVEL, a French professional men's and women's basketball club.
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