Parker during a Spurs game in December 2017
|Date of birth:||May 17, 1982|
|Place of birth:||Bruges, Belgium|
|Height: 6 ft 2 in||Weight: 185 lbs|
|Debut: 2001 for the San Antonio Spurs|
|High School:||INSEP (France)|
|NBA Draft:||2001 / Rnd: 1 / Pck: 28th|
|Career highlights and awards|
William Anthony Parker (born May 17, 1982) is a former French professional basketball point guard. He played for the San Antonio Spurs throughout most of his NBA career, winning four NBA championships with the Spurs and was the 2007 NBA Finals MVP. Parker also played for the Charlotte Hornets in his final season as an NBA player.
Before playing in the NBA, Parker played 2 years in the French championship (1999-2001) for the Paris Basket Racing team.
San Antonio Spurs (2001–2018)
When Parker played with the San Antonio Spurs against the Los Angeles Clippers on November 30, 2001, he became the third French player ever to play in an NBA game, the first being Tariq Abdul-Wahad, the second Jerome Moiso. (Dominique Wilkins was also born in France, but he is a U.S. citizen and was raised in North Carolina.) Parker is also the youngest member of the Spurs to play in the NBA at 19 years, 6 months and 13 days of age.
Parker, a starting point guard on the team, then helped his team win the 2003 NBA championship, when the Spurs led by Tim Duncan defeated the New Jersey Nets four games to two in the NBA Finals. The Spurs won the championship again in 2005, defeating the defending champions Detroit Pistons four games to three in the NBA Finals.
As of the end of the 2005 season, Parker has scored 4,404 career points in the NBA, for an average of 14.0 points per game, 1,668 assists for an average of 5.3 per game, and 792 rebounds, for 3.0 rebounds per game. On January 20, 2006, he scored a career high of 38 points in a Spurs victory over the Miami Heat.
With the French national basketball team, Tony Parker was a member of the national under 20 team and won the European under 20 championship in 2000, he was elected MVP of the tournament.
With the senior team, Parker has since played the European Championships 2001 and 2003 and became Captain since the 2003 European Championship. He was slated to lead France in the 2006 World Championships, but was unable to play after breaking a finger when he caught his hand in the jersey of a Brazil player in France's final warmup for the Worlds.
Player profile Parker plays the point guard position and has established himself as a potent scorer (career average 15.0 points). He is one of the quickest players in the NBA and often slashes to the basket for an easy layup or teardrop shot. Despite his relatively small stature for a basketball player (6'2"), he was leading the league in "points in the paint" for a large portion of the 2005-2006 NBA season. His shooting has improved dramatically since his rookie year, although outside shooting (especially three-pointers) still remains as the weaker part of his game. His field goal percentage of 54% (as of the 2005-2006 season) is very high for a point guard and is among the league leaders in that category. His speed also makes him a great fast break player.
His defense is above-average, although bigger and stronger players at his position often try to take advantage of his size. When he won his first ring in 2003, Parker contained Jason Kidd, considered one of the best point guards in the game. Parker is also a playoff veteran, having played 67 playoff games already, more playoff matches before his 24th birthday than anyone else .
Critics point out that his assist rate (5.4 assists per game career average) is mediocre, especially combined with an undesirably high 2.52 turnover-per-game ratio. In addition, his lifetime free throw average hovers around .700, which is considered below average for a guard.
In spite of his young age, Parker is already widely lauded as one of the premier point guards in the league. On February 9, 2006, for the first time in his career, Parker was selected to play in the 2006 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, Texas as a reserve guard for the Western Conference.
Charlotte Hornets (2018–2019)
On 6 July 2018, Parker agreed to a 2-year, $10 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets, where he would play his final season with the team.
On 10 June 2019, Parker announced his retirement from the NBA.
Off the court, Parker is engaged to actress Eva Longoria, who is 7 years his senior. They announced their engagement on Nov. 30, 2006 . She (a Texas native from nearby Corpus Christi) is a court-side regular at Spurs home games, while Parker served as her red carpet companion at the 2005 SAG Awards. Longoria was with Parker when the latter was cited for impeding traffic and failing to produce a valid Texas driver's license during a traffic stop on December 24, 2005; the incident garnered press attention because of racist remarks the basketball star's girlfriend allegedly made about a police officer involved in the incident </ref>. Parker was involved in the Paris bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. His reaction to London's successful bid was: I don't know what else we could have done. If we don't have it now, I guess we will never get it. The IOC seems to be very pro-Anglo-Saxon. I feel extremely gutted. As of 2005, Tony Parker has also been working on a French hip-hop album with producer Polygrafic (Sound Scientists). At a Spurs victory rally, held at the Alamodome days after the team won the 2005 NBA title, teammate Brent Barry convinced Parker to perform a French rap song in front of the 65,000+ crowd. The first single from the album 'Top of the Game', featuring rapper Fabolous, was released in March of 2006.
Contrary to popular belief, Tony Parker can and has dunked, (only on uncontested fast breaks) although he rarely does so.
He is good friends with fellow French soccer athlete, Thierry Henry.