Tony Parker explains what separates Tim Duncan from all other NBA icons

San Antonio Spurs v Charlotte Hornets

Tony Parker's time at the San Antonio Spurs came to an end this offseason when he signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets earlier this summer.

Parker concluded his time in San Antonio after 17 seasons where he won four NBA championships, the 2007 Finals MVP award, and earned himself six All-Star selections too.

Before closing the book on his time at the Spurs completely though, the 36-year-old took the time on The Players' Tribune to thank his former team, giving a special mention to a former teammate.

Parker heaped special praise on Tim Duncan for creating a Spurs culture that allowed the franchise to win five NBA titles during his time with the team.

He said: “Because here’s the thing with Tim Duncan: Was he the greatest player of all time?

“I don’t know — he’s the greatest I ever played with, I’ll say that, and I’ll let the experts take it from there. But here’s one thing I’ll tell you, absolutely: Timmy was the most coachable great player of all time.

“That was always our secret weapon, to me: You see this all-world player, this All-NBA First Team, MVP of the Finals, about to be MVP of the league guy, and here he is in practice, willing to be coached like he’s fighting for a spot on the team. It was unreal.


"And if you think that’s too passive for a star player to be? Well, then you’re not thinking it through on Tim’s level. Because Tim knew the truth: which was that to let himself be coached in this way, you know … that’s true charisma, and that’s true swagger.

"It’s like he was challenging everyone else in our gym: The best player in the entire league is willing to put his ego aside for the good of this team — are you?”

During his post, the point guard also paid tribute to San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich, citing him as the key reason for his success in the NBA.

Parker played 55 games in his final season with the Spurs, averaging 7.7 points and 3.5 assists. During his career overall, he averaged 15.8 points and 5.7 assists and was part of 137 playoff wins alongside Popovich, the second most by any coach and player in NBA history.

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