Former San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker announced his retirement Monday after 18 seasons in the NBA.
Parker, 37, originally had planned to retire after 20 years.
“If I can’t be Tony Parker anymore and I can’t play for a championship, I don’t want to play basketball anymore,” he told ESPN’s The Undefeated.
Parker is a six-time All-Star who spent the 2018-19 season with the Charlotte Hornets. He played in more than 1,200 games and ended his career with an average of 15.5 points per game.
Parker, who is French, was selected 28th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2001 NBA draft. Along with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and coach Gregg Popovich, he won four championships in San Antonio — in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014. He was the Finals MVP in 2007, the first European to receive the award.
Parker spent his whole career with the Spurs, except his final season. He told The Undefeated he still felt like he could play two more years — he’s healthy — but he simply didn’t see the reason for it. He didn’t think Charlotte could win a championship, even with his help.
“And if I don’t play for a championship, I feel like, why are we playing?” he said.
Outside of the NBA, Parker is president of ASVEL Basket, a French basketball team based in Lyon. He has owned the team since 2014 and will stay involved during his retirement.