NBA’s Spurs to retire French great Parker’s number

Tony Parker played 17 of his 18 NBA seasons in San Antonio, helping the Spurs capture four titles. (AFP)
Updated 17 August 2019

NBA’s Spurs to retire French great Parker’s number

  • Tony Parker will become the 10th player in Spurs franchise history to have his number raised to the rafters
  • He was the 2007 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, becoming the first European player to claim that honor

LOS ANGELES: The San Antonio Spurs said Friday they will retire Tony Parker’s Number 9 jersey on November 11, when they host the Memphis Grizzlies in an NBA regular-season game.
Parker will become the 10th player in Spurs franchise history to have his number raised to the rafters, joining Bruce Bowen (12), Tim Duncan (21), Sean Elliott (32), George Gervin (44), Manu Ginobili (20), Avery Johnson (6), Johnny Moore (00), David Robinson (50) and James Silas (13).
France’s Parker played 17 of his 18 NBA seasons in San Antonio, helping the Spurs capture four titles.
He was the 2007 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, becoming the first European player to claim that honor.
Originally selected by San Antonio with the 28th overall pick in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft, Parker is the Spurs leader in assists (6,829), while ranking second in games played (1,198), fourth in points (18,943) and steals (1,032), fifth in free throws made (3,309) and sixth in rebounds (3,313).
He announced his retirement from the NBA in June, having played his last season with the Charlotte Hornets.
Parker is one of five players in NBA history to post at least 19,000 points and 7,000 assists, along with Oscar Robertson, John Stockton, Gary Payton and LeBron James.
He played in a total of 1,254 career games in 18 seasons with the Spurs and Hornets, averaging 15.5 points, 5.6 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 30.5 minutes.
Parker finished his career seventh in NBA history with 892 wins.


World No 1 Brooks Koepka and defending champion Dustin Johnson relishing Saudi return

Updated 28 January 2020

World No 1 Brooks Koepka and defending champion Dustin Johnson relishing Saudi return

  • Royal Greens Golf & Country Club looking in ‘incredible shape’ according to Koepka
  • Johnson enjoying being part of a drive to grow the game of golf in Saudi

JEDDAH: Defending champion Dustin Johnson and world No. 1 Brooks Koepka are both back in Saudi Arabia ahead of this week’s second edition of the Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers.

The US stars headline one of the strongest line-ups on the Middle East swing, part of the European Tour, and are joined at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in a field that includes ten Major Champions competing for the $3.5m prizemoney.

World Number 5, Johnson, raced to a two-shot victory to claim his first regular European Tour title at the inaugural Saudi International last year that included a second round 61 – a course record.

“This year, I’m looking forward to having a big year. I feel like the game is in pretty good shape,” said Johnson.

“I’m really pleased with how I played last year here, I like the golf course and enjoyed myself here last year. I’m excited to be back in Saudi Arabia for this tournament. Because you won at a golf course, it doesn’t mean you’re going to win again. I’m going to have to work for it this week.”

Johnson also feels he has a part to play in continuing the growth of the game by bringing it to new markets such as the Kingdom.

“It’s one of the reasons I’m here, golf was pretty non-existent here a while ago. They’re trying to grow the game here which is really cool and it’s great to be a part of that. An event like this massively helps that.”

The world’s leading golfer, Brooks Koepka, returns to the Kingdom after another stellar season that saw him claim a fourth major title. The 29-year-old is continuing his return to competitive action following a knee injury that kept him out of action for three months at the end of last season.

“I had three months off, so there was no point in having a holiday or a vacation. It was more of a work thing in my off-season to get my game ready. It felt good in Abu Dhabi, it felt good in Dubai and it now feels good here,” said Koepka.

Both players feel the 7,010-yards Par 70 Royal Greens and Country Club layout facing the players this week has taken on a big step.

“It looks in incredible shape just as it was last year. Any time you can give a course an extra year to really develop, you’re going to see the progression of it,” added Koepka.

“The greens are a lot faster. The rough is a lot thicker. It’s settled in nicely.”

The course stretches along the spectacular Red Sea coastline and for Dustin Johnson it’s given him an opportunity to try another sporting passion before his practice round this morning – Scuba Diving.

“I had no idea that you could do that in Saudi Arabia. Last year, I met a friend that lived here and took us out on a scuba dive, so that was something I was looking forward to doing again this year.”

“So, we went out this morning and did another dive, to see a 100-year-old shipwreck which was really nice. It’s beautiful, the Red Sea, crystal clear blue water.

Joining Johnson and Koepka this week are fellow US stars Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed as well as some of the biggest names in European golf; Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood – an early season winner at the recent 2020 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Tickets remain available for the Ultimate Day Out at the Saudi International with day golf tickets starting from 50 SAR and 160 SAR for a full tournament pass. World class music acts will also be performing at the Saudi International with headline acts Marco Carola, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike (January 30), Zedd and Bryan Adams (January 31) and Luis Fonsi and Gipsy Kings (February 1) all performing with tickets starting from 75 SAR.

For more tournament information, visit – www.saudiinternational.com