Changing of the Guard

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Changing of the Guard

After 17 Years in San Antonio, Tony Parker Moves on from the Spurs

Are you shook? I am shook!

In what was one of the more surprising moves of the offseason, Tony Parker has left the San Antonio Spurs amid a ton of circulating rumours surrounding his irreparable relationship with Spurs star Kawhi Leonard. Entering free agency after 17-seasons with the Spurs, which included four NBA championships and six All-Star selections, Parker inked a two-year, $10-million deal with the Charlotte Hornets.

The Spurs reportedly wanted the 36-year old guard in a mentorship role, but Parker sought to head to a team where he would get a much larger role. Just hours prior to accepting the Hornets offer, Parker reached out to Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich to notify him of his decision.

“Tough decision. Tough three days. Tough communicating it all to Pop,” Parker told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears. “But I had to move on. It was a very emotional conversation with Pop and [Spurs general manager] R.C. Buford. I will always love San Antonio. I will always be a Spur. My family and house are in San Antonio. But I’m excited to play for my idol in M.J. [Hornets owner Michael Jordan], coach J.B. [James Borrego], who I played for in San Antonio, and with my little brother Nicolas Batum.”

A vital part of the two decades of Spurs dominance, the move will now allow the Spurs to further develop their group of young guards which includes Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker IV, and Derrick White.

“It’s difficult to put into words how important Tony Parker has been to the Spurs franchise over the past two decades,” Popovich said in a statement. “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.”

With reports of the tension between Parker and Leonard over comments the Frenchman has made of the star’s ailing leg injury, with Parker moving on from the team, the Spurs may still believe that they will have some sort of chance to mend their relationship with Leonard.

In his last season with the Spurs which included 55-games, Parker averaged 7.7-points on 45.9% shooting from the field and 3.5-assists per game.

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