Tony Parker Talks Playing for Michael Jordan, Says Spurs Matched Hornets' Offer

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 16: San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) brings the ball upcourt during the Los Angeles Clippers 115-92 victory over the San Antonio Spurs at the Staples Center at the Staples Center on December 16, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Elise/Getty Images)
Chris Elise/Getty Images

Tony Parker surprised many by signing with the Charlotte Hornets this summer after 17 years with the San Antonio Spurs, but it was apparently not a question of money.

The 36-year-old explained in an interview with L'Expresso (via Jeff Garcia of News4 San Antonio) that the difference was the role he was offered with the team, as well as the allure of playing for team owner Michael Jordan.

"When Michael Jordan called me, my idol, I thought, let's go," Parker said. "For me, I feel like closing the loop, to finish my career in his club, it's something special for me because it's him that made me want to play basketball."

The point guard also noted that the Spurs offered the same contract as the Hornets, but he decided on the latter. He signed a two-year deal worth $10 million in July.

"The Spurs offered me the same thing (contractually) as Charlotte, but it was more about the role. It was not a question of money. And it's important that people know this, because there are a lot of people who were 'angry' at the Spurs, thinking the franchise had not offered me anything. Yes, they offered me something similar, but I did not want to finish assistant-coach. And that was the role they offered me, when I wanted to play."

Parker appeared in 55 games last season, but he came off the bench regularly in the second half of the year for the first time in his career. He also set new lows with 19.5 minutes and 7.7 points per game last season.

The Spurs have been trying to get younger and let Patty Mills and Dejounte Murray take the majority of minutes at point guard.

Although Charlotte won't likely provide Parker with the type of starring role we have seen in the past from the six-time All-Star, he should get reserve minutes behind Kemba Walker.