Tony Parker deserves better from us
SAN ANTONIO - Thursday is the 10th anniversary of the 2007 NBA Finals, and it got me thinking. Tony Parker was the MVP of that Finals and he deserves better.
I'm guilty, you are probably guilty, and we should all take notice before it's too late.
Lost in the Manu Madness, which is certainly deserved, is the fact that Tony Parker also may very well have played his last game.
Now, he's expected back in January, and he'll give it a go, but in all honesty, he may never be the same. And just how good he really was is something that is way too undervalued in my book. Before he went down in the Houston series, Tony was having a great playoffs, mustering up the 2007 version of himself with the scoring, assists and toughness.
And for some, it still wasn't enough.
Back in the summer of 2003, I was in agreement with Pop and Tim Duncan when they went courting Jason Kidd. Some Spurs fans were not and they are the ones that turned out to be right.
After just his second season, Parker was still selfish, a shooter first, and hadn't yet earned Duncan's trust. The Spurs saw Kidd as the answer, and in defending the argument for Kidd, we were all tougher on Tony than we should have been.
And that NEVER stopped.
Duncan was the franchise, Manu was the favorite, and Tony was always the third wheel - never quite as popular as either. Again, it's as if he could never do enough.
But as we look at his 16-year career and crunch all the numbers and accomplishments, he's the fourth greatest Spur of all time behind only Tim Duncan, David Robinson and George Gervin.
I know. I want to put Manu at fourth ahead of Tony too, but the numbers just don't support it. And for a guy who's jersey will hang, and who may end up in the Hall of Fame, we owe him more. Some of you call for Patty Mills to start over him. How foolish does that look now?
Tony Parker is the Spurs all-time assist leader. He's in the top 3 or 4 in almost every statistical category in franchise history. He's even in the top 10 in rebounds. Only Tim played more games and more minutes. Tony won four titles and was MVP of the NBA Finals.
It's about time we all just say Thank You Tony. It was more than enough.