Las Vegas, NV – Four-time NBA Champion and six-time All-Star Tony Parker officially announced his retirement from the NBA on Monday. An 18-year veteran of the League, Parker was best known for the 17 seasons he spent with the San Antonio Spurs, and his crowning achievement would most likely be his performance in the 2007 playoffs, for which he was honored as the 2007 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player. After being selected with the last pick in the first round as an unheralded, unproven, and virtually unknown 19-year-old point guard out of Paris by the Spurs, Parker went on to deservedly be regarded as one of the top point guards in the game during much of the past two decades, and established himself as an undeniably integral part of the Spurs’ “Big Three,” buffeted by teammates Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.
Vegas Sports Daily had an opportunity to participate in a conference call with longtime Spurs Head Coach extraordinaire Gregg Popovich, who made no attempt to hide his affinity and respect for Parker, in effusively praising the Parisian point guard and his long-time floor general, noting that “Tony Parker obviously has had an amazing career. I’ve had the blessing to be with him since he was 19-years-old and watch him develop as a player, as a human being, as a businessman,” Popovich explained.
“Tony Parker obviously has had an amazing career. I’ve had the blessing to be with him since he was nineteen and watch him develop. He’s a very unique, wonderful person.”
– San Antonio Spurs and Team USA Head Coach Gregg Popovich, on Tony Parker
Popovich continued to reflect on their wildly successful partnership, describing Parker “He’s a very unique, very wonderful person. He’s someone that I have loved for a long time, and I just hope he continues to be as active as he has been -outside of basketball- so that he can stay busy and enjoy the rest of his life, and enjoy his family.”
For his career, Parker put up very impressive per game averages of 15.5 points per game during the regular season and increased his output to nearly 18 points per game during crunch time in the playoffs. Parker was also proud to provide a steadying leadership presence during his international duty with his French National team, capturing MVP honors at 2000 FIBA U-20 Championships while leading France to the Gold medal. He also was a key performer for France at the 2011 EuroBasket, 2012 London Olympics, and the 2013 FIBA EuroBasket Tournaments, each of which saw France enjoy a great deal of success.
Don’t forget to check out our other exclusive content from USA Basketball’s pre-Qualifying training camp, including exclusives with Jerry Colangelo, Damian Lillard, Gregg Popovich and more.
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