"A lot of different stuff ultimately led me to this decision," Parker explained. "But, at the end of the day, I was like, if I can’t be Tony Parker anymore and I can’t play for a championship, I don’t want to play basketball anymore."
Parker spent the majority of his career with the Spurs, which meant he was usually part of a championship-caliber team. After being picked No. 28 by San Antonio in 2001, he joined Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili as San Antonio's core players. Under Gregg Popovich's guidance, Parker won four championships and earned a Finals MVP in 2007.
After 17 years, San Antonio traded the aging Parker to the Hornets, where he had to accept his new role as a backup point guard to Kemba Walker. The late career change seems to have played a part in Parker's decision to retire.
"Last season was very different for me. I had a great time in Charlotte. This is very different for me after 17 years with the Spurs. And so I knew that the time changed, and I was being very nostalgic," Parker said. "Being away from the family back in San Antonio, too, that played a little bit of a role [in retiring], and so I came to a conclusion that it was just time to move on."
Parker will now join Duncan and Ginobili in the land of retirement, marking the official end of the dominant trio's time in the NBA. The loss has hit both NBA fans and players as they are taking to social media to share their favorite Tony Parker moments.