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Tony Parker retires after 18 NBA seasons

by Niel Victor Masoy, June 11, 2019 2:36pm

After playing 18 NBA seasons, Tony Parker has decided to hang his sneakers for good.

Parker bared his decision on Tuesday (Philippine time) in a report by The Undefeated.

“I’m going to retire,” Parker told Marc J Spears of The Undefeated. “I decided that I’m not going to play basketball anymore.”

The 6-foot-2 point guard also announced his retirement on Twitter.

“It’s with a lot of emotion that I retire from basketball, it was an incredible journey!,” Parker said in a tweet. “Even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would live all those unbelievable moments with the NBA and the French National Team. Thank you for everything!”

Parker was accustomed to the championship culture of the San Antonio Spurs and the French national basketball team. And when he realized that the Charlotte Hornets - the team he signed a deal with last season - don’t have that winning DNA yet, he knew it’s about time to move on.

“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’,” Parker said.

“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?”

Being away from his family, whom he left in San Antonio when he decided to sign with the Hornets last year, has also played a role in Parker's decision to retire from the NBA.

“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.”

Parker isn’t walking away from the game empty-handed, of course.

The 28th pick of the 2001 NBA Draft won four championships with the Spurs (2003, 2005, 2007, 2014) while also being named the 2007 Finals MVP.

Parker was also voted as an All-Star six times (2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014). He became a member of the All-NBA Second Team for three straight years as well (2012-2014).

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