NBA legendary star Tony Parker announces retirement after 18 seasons, four titles

In this file photo taken on March 21, 2016 Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs reacts after a play during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina. (AFP/Getty Images)
Updated 10 June 2019

NBA legendary star Tony Parker announces retirement after 18 seasons, four titles

  • Parker is one of the most successful foreign players ever to play in the NBA
  • Parker had previously spoken of his desire to play 20 seasons in the NBA

LOS ANGELES: Former San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker confirmed his retirement from basketball on Monday after 18 seasons in the NBA.
The 37-year-old French international, who won four NBA titles with the Spurs between 2003 and 2014 announced his decision in a post on Twitter.
“It’s with a lot of emotion that I retire from basketball, it was an incredible journey!” Parker wrote.
“Even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would live all those unbelievable moments with the NBA and the French National Team. Thank you for everything!“
Parker is one of the most successful foreign players ever to play in the NBA, and was a key figure in the Spurs teams which consistently challenged for championships during his time with the franchise.
Injuries hampered his final years with the Spurs and he spent last season playing with the Charlotte Hornets, appearing in 56 games but not starting in any.
In an interview with The Undefeated on Monday, six-time All-Star Parker said he was walking away from the sport after realizing that he could no longer compete at the very highest level.
“A lot of different stuff ultimately led me to this decision,” Parker said.
“But, at the end of the day, I was like, if I can’t be Tony Parker anymore and I can’t play for a championship, I don’t want to play basketball anymore.”
Parker had previously spoken of his desire to play 20 seasons in the NBA, but said his view changed after playing in Charlotte, who finished outside the playoff standings.
“I wanted to play 20 seasons and I still think I can play,” he told the website owned by ESPN.
“I had a good season with the Hornets, and I was healthy. But at the same time, now I don’t see any reason to play 20 seasons.
“If I don’t play for a championship, I feel like, why are we playing? And so that’s why it was very different for me mentally to focus and get motivated to play a game that I love, because I want to win something.”
Parker’s retirement comes after Argentina’s Manu Ginobili, another key member of the dominant Spurs teams of the past two decades, retired in August last year.
Parker, the NBA Finals MVP in 2007, averaged 15.5 points and 5.6 assists per game in his career, which spanned more than 1,200 games, including 1,151 career starts.


Pakistan: No more international cricket at neutral venues

Updated 10 December 2019

Pakistan: No more international cricket at neutral venues

  • Pakistan Cricket Board chief says the country is safe for international cricket
  • Pakistan’s decade-long isolation from hosting test cricket ends on Wednesday when Sri Lanka will play at Pindi Cricket Stadium

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan will no longer look for neutral venues to stage home international cricket matches.
“The onus will be on the other teams to tell us why they can’t play in Pakistan,” Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
“Our default position will remain that Pakistan is safe. We play cricket in Pakistan (and if) you want to play against Pakistan you have to come to Pakistan.”
Pakistan’s decade-long isolation from hosting test cricket ends on Wednesday when Sri Lanka will play at Pindi Cricket Stadium. The second test will be in Karachi from Dec. 19-23. The series is part of the world test championship.
Sri Lanka was the last team to play a test in Pakistan in 2009. Terrorists attacked the team’s bus in Lahore and eight people were killed. Several Sri Lanka players and team officials were injured. The ambush shut the door on international cricket in Pakistan. The PCB organized almost all of its home matches in the United Arab Emirates.
In the last four years, the PCB staged short limited-overs tours against the likes of Zimbabwe, the West Indies, Sri Lanka and a World XI to show the cricket world it could host tours safely. Sri Lanka agreed to play two test matches in Pakistan only after it visited Karachi and Lahore three months ago and played an incident-free series of one-day internationals and Twenty20s.
“It’s only logical that cricket comes home,” Mani said. “People have a perception of Pakistan which is very, very different to the reality of what is happening on the ground in Pakistan today.
“The concerns that people had about Pakistan, certainly for the last year or two, were not what the ground reality is.”
Top cricketing officials from Australia, England, Ireland, and the international players’ association have visited Pakistan in the last six months.
“When they see the ground reality, it’s a different attitude,” Mani said. “In fact, it was very nicely put by the chief executive of Cricket Ireland. He said, “I have to think of a reason why we shouldn’t be coming to Pakistan.’”
Mani said he’s had discussions with officials from Cricket Australia and England and Wales Cricket Board and he hoped that both countries will tour Pakistan in the next three years.
“I am absolutely confident that in 2021 we’ll have England and in 2022 we’ll have Australia,” he said.
“We’re not due to play New Zealand now till about 2023-24, but our default position is that Pakistan will play all its home matches in Pakistan.”
Despite the impending return of test cricket, Mani conceded there might not be a capacity crowd for the test, in stark contrast to the packed stadiums in Lahore in October when Sri Lanka whitewashed Pakistan 3-0 in the T20 series.
“Look, test cricket had been losing (crowd) support in the subcontinent, in fact around the world apart from England and Australia,” he said.
“People prefer to go and watch the white-ball cricket (T20s and ODIs) but it doesn’t mean that people don’t follow test cricket. You’ll probably find that people watch test cricket at home on television and through the telephone or whatever these days as much as they’ve ever done.
“We haven’t had much time to do the marketing for this (Rawalpindi test) but going forward we’re going to be working very hard to ensure that we can get young people in with the schools and college students, support them to come at little or no cost, give them exposure to cricket.”