Tony Parker's move to the Charlotte Hornets was shocking, to say the least. The Spurs legend, who spent 17 years in San Antonio with the team, is the only one of the original title-winning trio to have actually moved to another team, with both Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili retiring.
It was thought that Parker would follow suit. But the point guard is playing out the 2018-19 season in a Hornets uniform that he still looks strange in months into his stint with the Michael Jordan-owned side.
The Frenchman's exit was indeed strange. According to Parker himself, he called the Hornets to make him an offer and, when they made one, he accepted right away without even giving his former paymasters a chance to match it.
"They really didn’t take me seriously that I was going to leave,” Parker told ESPN.com's Michael C. Wright ahead of his return to San Antonio on Monday.
And although he claims he's still hurt by the way things ended, the player wants to “focus on the great 17 years we had.”
One of Parker's reasons for wanting to leave was a desire for more playing time. And, oddly enough, what would have been an opportunity came along in the form of Dejounte Murray getting ruled out for the season with injury and Derrick White missing significant time as well. Parker, though, was long gone by then.
“A little bit like Pop and R.C. in that I don’t think JB believed I was going to leave,” he said in reference to his negotiations with the Hornets. “So then I called him again two or three days after that and told him: ‘I’m not saying this to get an offer for the Spurs to match. You give me an offer, and I’ll sign right away. I’m not even going to bring it to the Spurs.”
What This Means
It was a very trying summer for the Spurs. The team was unable to convince Kawhi Leonard to stay put but did get DeMar DeRozan for their troubles, and Parker's departure came as a blow as well.
They could have definitely used him after the unfortunate incident regarding Murray. But the guard not even allowing San Antonio the chance to keep him shows that he was more than eager to leave.