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.


Djokovic survives scare as rain causes chaos at Australian Open

Updated 20 January 2020

Djokovic survives scare as rain causes chaos at Australian Open

  • World No. 3 Federer was briefly hauled off court while the roof was closed on Rod Laver Arena

MELBOURNE: Novak Djokovic survived a scare to join Roger Federer and Serena Williams in the Australian Open second round as heavy downpours caused chaos on Monday, forcing organizers to postpone a swathe of matches.

Defending champion Djokovic was made to sweat before beating Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff in four sets on the first day, when fears over air pollution were replaced by disruption caused by rain.

In the late match, defending champion Djokovic dropped his first set since 2006 in the opening round before recovering to beat Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.

“There is a lot of pressure and a lot of different emotions involved. I definitely try to remind myself to stay present and really enjoy,” said the seven-time Melbourne winner, who brought up his 900th Tour-level victory.

While play continued at the three stadiums with retractable roofs, half of the 64 scheduled matches were postponed, ensuring a big backlog for Tuesday.

Wet conditions are unusual for the Australian Open, which is more used to extreme heat and was plagued by smog from bushfires during qualifying, when players suffered coughing fits and breathing problems.

Air quality was rated “good” as the first round started on Monday but about four hours later play was suspended on outside courts when the heavens opened in Melbourne.

World No. 3 Federer was briefly hauled off court while the roof was closed on Rod Laver Arena before returning to complete a routine 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over American Steve Johnson.

Williams, on the hunt for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, won the first set against Anastasia Potapova in just 19 minutes as she cruised to a 6-0, 6-3 win in less than an hour.

“I feel like I can still improve and get better throughout this tournament, for sure. This is a good stepping stone for right now,” Williams said.

However, Williams’ elder sister Venus was ousted in stunning fashion by 15-year-old Coco Gauff, who won 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 in a repeat of her first-round upset at Wimbledon last year.

Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens was the biggest women’s casualty on day one when she crashed out in three sets to Zhang Shuai of China — her fourth first-round exit in Melbourne.

Defending champion Naomi Osaka was done well before the downpour as she dismissed Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4 in 80 minutes, smashing one powerful serve that broke a net fastening.

“It was really tough for me trying to control my nerves,” said Osaka. “It’s tough to play someone you’ve never played before in the first round of a Grand Slam.”

Later on the covered center court, Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty recovered strongly from a set down to beat Lesia Tsurenko 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.

In the men’s draw, Greek sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Federer en route to last year’s semis, crushed Salvatore Caruso 6-0, 6-2, 6-3.

Player anger over smog dominated the final days before the tournament, which is taking place after bushfires ravaged large parts of Australia, destroying thousands of homes and killing 29 people.

Tournament officials are closely monitoring pollution and will halt play and close the three main stadiums’ roofs if particulate matter suspended in the air hits PM2.5 200.

In other results, Canadian 13th seed Denis Shapovalov argued furiously with the umpire over a code violation for throwing his racquet as he lost in four sets to Marton Fucsovics.

Croatian 25th seed Borna Coric was another first-round loser as he went down to experienced American Sam Querrey, while Australia’s Sam Stosur bombed out against Caty McNally.

But former champion Caroline Wozniacki, playing her last tournament before retiring, safely reached the second round as she beat Kristie Ahn 6-1, 6-3.