Tony Parker, France’s Biggest Basketball Player, Bids Farewell

Tony Parker of the Charlotte Hornets (g) during the match against the New York Nicks on December 9, 2018.

At 37, Tony Parker ended his basketball career after 18 years in the NBA, won four championship titles and one Euro with France.

Eighteen seasons in the NBA, four championship titles, a Euro with France and a solid reputation as the best player in the history of French basketball: at 37, Tony Parker announced Monday 10th June 2019 that he took his sports retreat.

“It is with great emotion that I put an end to my career. I worked a lot, received a lot, it was an incredible adventure! Even in my wildest dreams, I would never have thought of living these exceptional moments in France and NBA team, “wrote the playmaker on his Twitter account, just after announcing his decision in an interview with the site sports internet The Undefeated, owned by ESPN.

“Thanks Tony Parker”

If it is under the colours of the Charlotte Hornets that he retired – a club he joined last summer to evolve with his compatriot Nicolas Batum under the direction of the ultimate legend Michael Jordan – it’s in the San Antonio Spurs that his memory will be forever associated.

“Thank you, Tony, for all these moments of shared happiness! “, Reacted, in French, the Spurs on Twitter.

The Texan club had selected him to 28th place in the 2001 draft while “Tony Parker”, 19 years old at the time, had only two professional seasons in the legs, with PSG Racing in Paris.

Antonio Spurs player Tony Parker in the Brooklyn Nets match on January 16, 2018.
Antonio Spurs player Tony Parker in the Brooklyn Nets match on January 16, 2018. (© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP / Archive / AL BELLO)


In 17 years in the black and grey colours of San Antonio, Parker has participated in one of the most dominant dynasties in the history of American basketball alongside Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, under the command of his coach Gregg Popovich, with whom he had an almost filial relationship.

“Tony Parker obviously had an amazing career. I’ve been lucky to be with him since he was 19, to see him grow as a person, player and businessman,” said Popovich, now coach of the US national team, on Monday.

Together, the Parker-Ginobili-Duncan trio played 701 regular-season games and playoffs, more than any trio in NBA history.

The Spurs have won four NBA titles: in 2003 (against the New Jersey Nets), 2005 (against the Detroit Pistons), 2007 (against the Cleveland Cavaliers of LeBron James, already) and 2014, against the Miami Heat of LeBron James (still ).

Six times in the All-Star Game

During this glamorous period, Parker was selected six times in the All-Star Game, a gala match bringing together the best players in the NBA, and even earned the title MVP (best player) Finals in 2007.

Only downside: a title lost to the Heat in 2013, after a breathtaking final played in 7 games.

Over his entire NBA career, he’s averaging 15.5 points (49.1% shooting success) and 5.6 assists. In France, he played 181 games for 15.1 points average.

Disappointment in Charlotte

As a teenager, during his training at Insep (the French Federal Training Center), he met his long-time friend Boris Diaw, retired since last year, with whom he played for France and won on the title of champion with the Spurs in 2014.

At 36, after several seasons marked by injuries, he decided in 2018 to bring his talents to North Carolina, to help the young Hornets of Charlotte to progress.

“You have to understand how Pop (Popovich) is. He wants to win a title every year. The NBA is a league of young people, he saw my role differently, “he explained to AFP.

Although her contribution to the field has been interesting, Charlotte has not managed this season to qualify for playoffs, the goal of the franchise.

Back to Villeurbanne

“If I can not be Tony Parker anymore and if I can not aim for a championship anymore, I do not want to play basketball anymore,” he said in his interview with The Undefeated.

“It was very hard for me mentally to focus and motivate to play the sport I love, because I want to win something.”

In parallel with his NBA career, he led the French team to his first title after years of disappointment, the Eurobasket 2013, before retiring with the Blues in 2016.

He remains very involved in French basketball since he is president of the club of Villeurbanne (east), section men and women.

In France, he remains one of the most famous athletes, especially thanks to his marriage – now gone – with the American actress Eva Longoria, who made the front page of people’s magazines.

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