Tony Parker enters the legend, his jersey withdrawn by the Spurs

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For the first time, a French player saw his jersey removed by an NBA team. Basketball player Tony Parker received this honor in San Antonio, Texas, surrounded by former teammates.

Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Manu Ginobili, Boris Diaw. They were all there to honor Tony Parker. The French basketball player entered Monday 11 November in the pantheon of San Spurs Antonio. His jersey 9 was removed during a ceremony.

Such an honor is rare. It is usually given to those who have not been content with a feat, but who have forged the legend of a team. He is the first Frenchman to receive such a tribute.

"Thanks, San Antonio. It feels good to be at home. Here it will always be home for me. It's very moving, "said Tony Parker, who had wished the withdrawal of his jersey, supreme honorary act in franchises NBA, take place in this 11 November marking the end of the First World War.

"My father is American My maternal grandfather had the 'Purple Heart' (a US military medal). We must salute all the veterans, "he said, before thanking the assembly : his wife, two children Josh and Liam, former coach Gregg Popovich and former teammates.

"You made my life richer"

With Duncan and Ginobili, he formed one of "Big 3 "the most talented in the history of the NBA, crowned with four league titles (2003, 2005, 2007, 2014). He is now a member at their side of the club very closed Spurs immortals, along with Johnny Moore, Avery Johnson, James Silas, Sean Elliott and George Gervin.

"I want to apologize for the physical and moral abuse that I did to you … But the truth is that I was the luckiest man to make you play and see you now enter to the pantheon of glory (Spurs) You have made my life richer, "hailed" coach Pop "in front of a Parker with foggy eyes.

The ceremony, attended by many friends from "TP" among which the Frenchies who have followed suit in NBA, Boris Diaw, Nicolas Batum, Ian Mahinmi, Ronnie Turiaf, took place just after the defeat of the Spurs against Memphis (113-109).

An impressive track record

Born in 1982 in Bruges, Belgium, an American basketball player and a Dutchman37-year-old Tony Parker has the most beautiful basketball history. Trained at Insep, he was the first French player to win an NBA title and also the first European player to win MVP (Most Valuable Player, best player of the season) finals in 2007.

Spearhead of the France team, he also led his national selection to the European title in 2013. Two years later, still at the Euro, he became the best scorer and the best passer in history of the continental competition. Since 2018, less used in the Spurs, he joined the team Hornets Charlotte. But his last season has been disappointing. He announced his retirement last June.

Businessman, he is also devenu one of the richest French sportsmen thanks to his salary to the Spurs (12 millions of dollars per season in its great years) and many advertising contracts. He was able to make multiple investments, the latest in the ski resort of Villard-de-Lans. It is to these economic activities that he should henceforth devote a large part of his time, between the United States and France, as well as to the presidency of Asvel, the Villeurbanne club.

With AFP

. (tagsToTranslate) Sports (t) Basketball (t) NBA (t) Tony Parker

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