Tony Parker will sign a two-year, $10 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Picturing Parker in Hornets blue feels bizarre. The Spurs as we know them are fading.
According to Wojnarowski, Parker called Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich to inform him of his decision, despite San Antonio wanting him back. He will now join Spurs former assistant coach, James Borrego, who was recently hired as head coach in Charlotte.
“It’s difficult to put into words how important Tony Parker has been to the Spurs franchise over the past two decades,” Popovich said, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick. “From his first game in 2001 at age 19, TP has impressed and inspired us — day after-day, game-after-game, season-after-season — with his passion, dedication and desire. We are grateful to Tony for 17 years of truly amazing memories. While the four championships, six All-Star appearances and four All-NBA selections highlight his resume, the biggest joy for me has been to have the pleasure of watching TP grow up before our eyes. All of us in the Spurs organization will miss having Tony in our program and wish him and his family the best as he continues his remarkable career in Charlotte.”
Parker returned from a quad injury to play 55 games for the Spurs last year, but he appeared for a career-low 20 minutes and logged his lowest points and assists per game on his lowest shooting numbers. He averaged just eight points and four assists per game on 46 percent shooting. The 35-year-old is a shell of his former self, and would’ve played a limited role again in San Antonio. Plus, he’d have to deal with the ongoing Kawhi Leonard drama.
In Charlotte, Parker should see a more substantial role behind Kemba Walker, and possibly snag a playoff spot.
The Spurs era of Parker-Manu Ginobili-Tim Duncan is coming close to an official close. And their successor wants out.