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Tony Parker Refutes Notion That He'll Retire Following 2016 Season

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, right, talks with Tony Parker (9) in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Pat Sullivan/Associated Press
Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2014

Nothing really ages in the Alamo City.

The San Antonio Spurs have been outpacing Father Time for a while now, and point guard Tony Parker said he plans to stay in this race for as long he can.

Parker caught up with NBA Greece at All-Star weekend and gave an answer about his future that some interpreted as a planned exit from the NBA stage.

The 31-year-old was asked about how much fuel was left in his Team France tank.

"It is always an honor to play at these two levels and I love to represent my country," Parker said. "I want to go to the Olympics. I want to go to Brazil. Then retire."

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08:  Tony Parker #9 of France looks on while taking on Spain during the Men's Basketball quaterfinal game on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 8, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ronald
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Just like that, the "R" word wafted above San Antonio and quickly breezed throughout the basketball world. Spurs fans had been bracing for the departures of Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich and Manu Ginobili, but Parker was supposed to be the one bridging the franchise from this era to the next.

No worries, Spurs fans. Parker said he still plans to be that player for as long as his body will allow, via Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News:

So, what was the deal with the retirement comments?

Parker has a plan for hanging up his shoes, but he's preparing to leave the international stage, not the NBA game, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein:

He doesn't have anything left to prove at this point.

In 12-plus NBA seasons, he's captured three titles, made six All-Star appearances and has been selected to three All-NBA teams. Alongside Duncan and Ginobili, he has the Spurs (40-16) en route to their 15th consecutive 50-win season.

His clock might in fact be ticking, but its movements are slower and more controlled in San Antonio.

As long as Parker still has the heart, the Spurs will make sure he's got the body to compete, too.

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