Parker says retiring a Spur was misunderstood, Spurs offered same deal as Hornets
An end of an era came this offseason as long-time San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker decided to leave the only team he has played for and join the Hornets.
The Hornets offered the then-free agent guard a 2-year deal worth a reported $10 million and according to Parker, the Spurs made the same deal.
In an interview with French outlet L'Expresso (via French site Trashtalk), Parker explained that the Spurs made him the same deal. However, for Parker it wasn't about the money rather the fact he did not want to be in a coaching role with the Spurs as they offered.
The Spurs offered me the same thing (contractually) as Charlotte, but it was more about the role. It was not a question of money. And it's important that people know this, because there are a lot of people who were "angry" at the Spurs, thinking the franchise had not offered me anything. Yes, they offered me something similar, but I did not want to finish assistant-coach. And that was the role they offered me, when I wanted to play.
Parker went on to say the lure of playing for his basketball idol, Michel Jordan, was too good for him to pass which also led him to leave San Antonio.
And when Michael Jordan called me, my idol, I thought, let's go. For me, I feel like closing the loop, to finish my career in his club, it's something special for me because it's him that made me want to play basketball.
Coming off surgery to his left leg, in the 2017-18 season, Parker saw action in 55 games, averaging 7.7 points, 3.6 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 19.5 minutes. He also shot .459 (178-388) from the field. A solid contribution considering he voluntarily gave up his starting point guard spot for Dejounte Murray and saw minutes decrease.
As for ending his career with the Spurs after 17 seasons, Parker wanted to clear the record when reports came out this summer that he said he wanted to retire a Spur.
Parker said what he meant was that his jersey will be retired in San Antonio and that he is just focused on playing and realizing his time as a player in S.A. is over.
My jersey will be retired in San Antonio, surely, but that's why there was a little misunderstanding when I was in China. They said I was going to finish my career with the Spurs, but what I was saying in fact is that my jersey will be hanging out there. Otherwise, as a player, go play, it's over with the Spurs.
Though he still loves the Spurs and the city of San Antonio.
Parker will make his lone appearance in San Antonio next season on Jan. 14 2019 which will likely be one emotional night for all at the AT&T Center.