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France's Parker brings curtain down on ''amazing career''
PARIS (France) - France great Tony Parker has decided to retire as a basketball player, ending a career that can only be viewed as legendary on both sides of the Atlantic.
The 37-year-old tweeted the announcement on Monday.
🇺🇸 It’s with a lot of emotion that I retire from basketball, it was an incredible journey! Even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would live all those unbelievable moments with the NBA and the French National Team.— Tony Parker (@tonyparker) June 10, 2019
Thank you for everything! https://t.co/YKqTlnkG90
Arguably his country's greatest-ever player, Parker became the FIBA EuroBasket's all-time leading scorer in 2015 when France hosted the event and finished third (Spain's Pau Gasol later passed Parker in the scoring charts at FIBA EuroBasket 2017).
Twice he provided much of the inspiration as France qualified for the Olympic Games, in 2012 and 2016. He retired from the national team at the end of the 2016 Olympics.
In the NBA, Parker became one of the league's greatest foreign-born players as the point guard of the San Antonio Spurs, his team from 2001 to 2018.
“IT’S BEEN A BLESSING TO BE WITH HIM SINCE HE WAS 19 YEARS OLD AND WATCH HIM DEVELOP AS A PLAYER, AS A HUMAN BEING AND A BUSINESSMAN. HE’S A VERY UNIQUE, VERY WONDERFUL PERSON. ”
Four times Parker captured NBA titles (2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014). He was the 2007 NBA Finals MVP.
Three times he was an All-NBA second team selection. On six occasions, Parker played in the All-Star Game.
Having spent his one and only year in the NBA outside of San Antonio this season with the Charlotte Hornets, Parker has decided to call it quits.
His coach at San Antonio, Gregg Popovich, spoke about Parker on Monday.
"He’s had an amazing career," Popovich said. "It’s been a blessing to be with him since he was 19 years old and to watch him develop as a player, as a human being and a businessman. He’s a very unique, very wonderful person.
"I’ve loved him for a long time and just hope he continues to be as active as he has been outside of basketball so he can stay busy, enjoy the rest of his life and enjoy his family."