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Tony Parker left the Spurs because he felt the Hornets wanted him more

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In an ideal world, Tony Parker would've retired as a San Antonio Spurs player. 

But things didn't work out as he would've wanted which is why the veteran has agreed to join the Charlotte Hornets on a two-year, $10 million deal. 

He decided it was time for a change after 17 years with the Spurs and will embark on a new challenge in North Carolina. 

Feeling wanted

Parker made the difficult decision as he felt that the Hornets wanted him more. 

He revealed that he received an offer from San Antonio but he wasn't keen on the role they wanted him to play. 

“The Spurs made me an offer, but it was only for year and with a role a little wobbly," Parker told EuroHoops. I wanted to have a real challenge.”

The 36-year-old claims that he was offered more of a player-coach role with the Spurs and it wasn't something he was looking to do as he's still solely focused on playing.

He wants to prove that he can still compete in the NBA and has a lot to give.

San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Three

“I do not want to become a coach before being one,” he said. 

The move to the Eastern Conference means he'll only have to return to Texas once next season but he already anticipates it'll be an odd feeling and an emotional occasion. 

“It will be a lot of emotion, I would not be surprised if there were some tears in my eyes," he said. "The Spurs will always be my home, San Antonio will always be a big part of my life.”

The Frenchman blossomed into one of the best point guards in NBA history during his time with the Spurs. 

San Antonio Spurs v Denver Nuggets

He won four championships and secured a Finals MVP award as well as six All-Star appearances. 

In a touching tribute to the Spurs legend, Gregg Popovich said: "It's difficult to put into words how important Tony Parker has been to the Spurs franchise over the past two decades." 

He may wear a different uniform but he'll always be remembered as a Spur.

But the time seems right for both parties to part ways as a new challenge this late in his career could help motivate him again as he's been dealing with injuries and a loss of form in recent years.

Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs - Game Two

He'll be a back up to Kemba Walker and can provide leadership and experience for the younger players both on and off the floor. 

The brilliant reaction by Charlotte shooting guard Malik Monk after he discovered that they'd signed the future Hall of Famer shows just how much he's respected in the game. 

Hornets fans will certainly flock to the Spectrum Center in their thousands to watch him play next season.

CLICK HERE to listen to Episode Two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein. Subscribe for all future episodes.

Topics:
Gregg Popovich
Kemba Walker
Southeast Division
Charlotte Hornets
Tony Parker
Eastern Conference
San Antonio Spurs
NBA

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