The Simulation is Collapsing: Tony Parker isn’t a San Antonio Spur Anymore
In an NBA offseason full of surprises and blockbuster moves, perhaps the most shocking development was that San Antonio Spurs legend Tony Parker will be playing for the Charlotte Hornets next year. This ends an amazing 17-year run where Parker won 4 NBA titles and has certainly cemented his place in Spurs franchise history as the team’s greatest ever point guard. However, the repercussions of his departure, despite all the gratitude that’s being thrown his way, may rock the Spurs franchise for the next few seasons.
Throughout his career, Parker was always a dependable floor general who simply made the Spurs function smoothly. In fact, there were many times where the mere thought of replacing him was inconceivable. However, as the years went on, Parker obviously got older and was no longer capable of filling the same role in games that he always did. However, he was always the glue, along with Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan, that held the team together and taught newcomers the Spurs way. This is where his move to Charlotte could become problematic.
Without a strong veteran presence to help guide rookies and newcomers to the franchise, how will the vaunted culture of the team survive? Thankfully, Manu Ginobili is still there (though this is likely his final season) and Gregg Popovich isn’t going anywhere for at least a few years. So while the culture may not suffer, there will be an absence of a certain French taste.
Regardless, Tony Parker’s legacy in San Antonio is secure. He didn’t leave acrimoniously. On the contrary, Popovich wrote a letter about how much he appreciated and admired Parker. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that seeing Tony Parker in a non-Spurs uniform next season will be very weird. Then again, change, while hard, is always good.