Though he had a tough exit from the San Antonio Spurs last season, four-time champion Tony Parker has decided to retire from the NBA after 18 years in the league.
The point guard announced his retirement through The Undefeated, saying that he can no longer be “Tony Parker” and it was time for him to move forward because he wasn’t mentally there, though he could physically play another two seasons.
“I’m going to retire. I decided that I’m not going to play basketball anymore. A lot of different stuff ultimately led me to this decision, 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 won titles in San Antonio in 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2014, winning NBA Finals MVP in 2007. He made the All-Star team with the Spurs a total of six times and was nominated to All-NBA a total of four times. He is undoubtedly a shoe-in for the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Tony will probably go down as the best French player to ever step foot on the court in the NBA and one of the greatest international players ever.
What was the difference between playing with the Spurs and playing with the Hornets?
For 17 years, every year that I started with the Spurs, I really thought that we had a good chance to win the championship. And so it was very weird to arrive to a team and you’re like, ‘There is no way we’re going to win the championship.’ And even if I had a great time — and the Charlotte players, they were great with me and they were great guys — at the end of the day I play basketball to win something, and it’s been like that with the [French] national team when we try to compete for a gold medal or with the Spurs to win a championship.
And if I don’t play for a championship, I feel like, why are we playing? And so that’s why it was very different for me mentally to focus and get motivated to play a game that I love, because I want to win something.
His jersey will be retired in San Antonio soon. Shout to Tony Parker.