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Adieu, for now, to Tony Parker

July 13, 2018

Leaving San Antonio for Charlotte is not a chapter we would have written for Spurs legend Tony Parker. We would have preferred to see Parker spend the twilight of his career in silver and black, filming those H-E-B commercials and mentoring up-and-comer Dejounte Murray.

San Antonio is simply where Parker belongs, even if Charlotte is a better fit for him at this moment. With his fearless style and slashing drives, Parker was a blur who dazzled game after game.

He also grew up before our eyes, joining the team when he was just 19 as a late first-round pick from France. No one imagined he would become the Spurs’ all-time leader in assists or guide the team to four championships over 17 seasons.

Players, coaches, managers and even owners come and go (although fans are always true to their teams). But that’s not the San Antonio way. At least, not over the past 20 years.

Thanks to Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan, the Spurs long avoided the kind of change that most teams seem to go through every five years. Our Big Three were steady.

They stayed in the Alamo City and flourished. Under Gregg Popovich, they exemplified unparalleled excellence. They defined Spurs basketball as team basketball.

Change has finally come. Parker is off to Charlotte. Duncan has retired. Ginobili’s future is uncertain.

Popovich continues to coach, for now.

One era is mostly over, and another one will begin.

We can’t thank Parker enough for his 17 fabulous seasons here. We will be rooting for him in Charlotte, but he will always be a Spur.

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