The 37-year-old San Antonio Spurs player confirmed his decision to ESPN's The Undefeated in an article published on Monday, also tweeting, "It's with a lot of emotion that I retire from basketball, it was an incredible journey!"
Parker played 17 seasons for the San Antonio Spurs and made the post-season every year of his career before joining the Charlotte Hornets last season and missing the playoffs. "For me, the goodbye will be when my jersey will be retired [in San Antonio] or I make the Hall of Fame", Parker told The Undefeated. The Frenchman also would have been an excellent marketing tool, since the Hornets are going to play the first National Basketball Association regular-season in Paris in January against the Milwaukee Bucks. He was selected to the All-Star team six times and was named second-team All-NBA three times. "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.' 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 so I wanted to spend more time with them. and I wanted to play 20 seasons and I still think I can play. We had a great run and can't wait to beat you up on tennis and spending more time together'. I had a great time in Charlotte. I have so much stuff going on that I've always been at peace with that decision. And so I knew that the time changed, and I was being very nostalgic. He's the owner of ASVEL in France, whose women's team just won their first championship.
"Winning", Parker said. "Winning".
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"If I don't play for a championship, I feel like, 'Why are we playing?'" he added. It's priceless to see their faces.
Parker walks away as the Spurs all-time leader in assists, and he is also top five in franchise history in games played, points, and steals.
Basketball fans abound are celebrating Parker's 18-year NBA career on social media today, in the wake of his announcement. But it never gets old.