Manu Ginobili, Gregg Popovich wish Tony Parker the best in Charlotte

Florence Fletcher
July 8, 2018

For the first time in his career, Tony Parker will not play for the San Antonio Spurs next season.

Now 36, Parker will sign a two-year, $10-million contract with Charlotte, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported. "Tough communicating it all to Pop", Parker told The Undefeated's Marc Spears.

A report earlier this week said San Antonio was interested in bringing Parker back at the right price. He won four championships (2003, 2005, 2007, 2014), including one NBA Finals MVP award, and held the starting point guard position from 2001 to January 2018. He's been with the Spurs for four of its five National Basketball Association championships and is a six-time All-Star. Parker received a lot of interest outside of San Antonio, and the Hornets presented an ideal situation for him.

And tensions were strained further when Parker made comments to the media suggesting an injury he had sustained previously was "100 times worse" than Leonard's current plight.

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Parker told ESPN that it was a hard decision, "but I had to move on". "When the journalist asked me if my injury was worse than Kawhi's, I said yes because it was true".

With that in mind, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich penned a heartfelt tribute to Parker, which the Spurs presented on Friday afternoon. "He was the face of the franchise". During his career, the six-time All-Star averaged 15.8 points and 5.7 assists.

"The biggest joy for me has been to have the pleasure of watching TP grow up before our eyes", Popovich said.

The move reunites Parker with new Charlotte coach James Borrego, who most recently was an assistant in San Antonio. "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".

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