The time has come to say goodbye to the last member of the San Antonio Spurs’ “Big Three” - Tony Parker.
On November 11th, the Spurs will celebrate No. 9 with his jersey retirement night.
Parker helped anchor the team throughout his years playing in silver and black. He was a speedy point guard with a teardrop shot that was perfect, a 2007 NBA Finals MVP, and an NBA All-Star.
Parker was drafted in 2001 by the Spurs with the 28th pick in the first round. He may have been considered a rookie per NBA standards, but he wasn’t. He already been playing professional basketball in France before he was drafted by the Spurs.
Parker started as the backup point guard his first year and became the starting point guard five games later.
However, becoming the starting point guard for the Spurs didn’t come with the glory that most people would expect. Coach Gregg Popovich was hard on the young point guard but there was a method to this madness, as Parker became a better player and leader.
In a tribute video the team shared, Spurs greats talk about Parker and what he meant to them and the team. The most heartfelt were Manu Ginobil's thoughts.
San Antonio witnessed Parker grow up.
He was 19 years old when he was drafted. The city saw him help win four titles for the Spurs, seen him release a French rap album, marry and have children.
Next week, the city will say its final "merci" for Parker. It will be a wonderful, and bittersweet, day for all.