Tony Parker reveals reason why he left Spurs
Tony Parker shocked the basketball world by leaving the San Antonio Spurs to sign with the Charlotte Hornets this summer, and now we are getting a better idea of what drove him to that decision.
In an interview this week with French outlet L’Expresso, the 36-year-old veteran guard opened up about his split with San Antonio.
“The Spurs offered me the same thing [contractually] as Charlotte, but it was more about the role,” Parker said, per Jeff Garcia of Spurs Zone. “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,” he added. “That was the role they offered me, when I wanted to play.”
After spending the first 17 years of his career with the Spurs (a span where he won four championships, earned a Finals MVP Award, and made six All-Star teams), Parker signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Hornets in July. He played a career-low 19.5 minutes per game last season in San Antonio and was a clear third on the point guard depth chart behind Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills. Parker should have an opportunity for a bigger role in Charlotte, where he will be Kemba Walker’s primary backup.
Some may point to the internal drama that Parker dealt with during his final season on the Spurs as a catalyst behind his departure, but it sounds like the decision was primarily driven by playing time considerations instead.