San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg couldn't help but join in the festivities in his city, by declaring November 9 "Tony Parker Day." Last June, San Antonio Spurs former player Tony Parker announced his plan to retire after playing for 18 seasons. The Spurs planned a retirement ceremony for his #9 jersey on November 11, following the game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Mayor Nirenberg made sure he chipped in to honor San Antonio's superstar guard.
Parker is expected to play two more seasons. He signed a two-year contract with the Charlotte Hornets and is averaging 18 minutes a game with them. He recently said that he can't play like "Tony Parker" anymore, reminiscent of Kobe Bryant's retirement prediction when he was injured in 2013. Bryant eventually retired in 2016.
Parker started his career in 2001 as the 28th draft pick for the Spurs. That was pretty low for a future NBA superstar. Then again, the year prior, the Spurs picked up another future superstar, Manu Ginóbili, in the second round as pick #57. Together with a young Tim Duncan, the three of them would form the core of the San Antonio team that would win four championships in the next 15 years.
The Duncan-Parker-Ginóbili trio is rare and unique because it is the only core team composed entirely of non-mainland Americans. Duncan grew up in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Parker in France, and Ginóbili is an Argentine. Over the years, there had been a some powerhouse tandems that were composed partly of foreigners, such as Kemp-Payton-Schrempf and their rival Finley-Nash-Nowitzki.
Except for this season's stint with the Hornets, and probably another year with them, he is identified by NBA fans as a pure-blood Spur. Parker spent a huge bulk of his career with San Antonio, even winning the Finals MVP award with them in 2007. It's no surprise that San Antonio honored him so much, (they didn't do the same for Ginóbili last year).
According to The Undefeated, as part of Tony Parker Day, fans were able to meet him in person at North Star Mall. The appearance was sponsored by Tissot, the official watch of the NBA