Hornets PG Tony Parker '50-50' on Retiring: 'I Haven't Made My Decision Yet'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2019

Charlotte Hornets guard Tony Parker (9) brings the ball up court against the Washington Wizards during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Charlotte Hornets point guard Tony Parker is undecided regarding whether he will return for a 19th NBA season in 2019-20.

In an interview with French television show C'a Vous (h/t Antonis Stroggylakis of EuroHoops.net), Parker said the following about his plans: "It's 50-50. I haven't made my decision yet. I told the club that I will give them an answer in June. I really hesitate. I have nothing to prove. I want to spend time with my family. And there's another part of me that wants to make one last season. There will be an NBA match in France, in Paris. It will be a beautiful event."

Parker is under contract with Charlotte for next season, and if he decides to continue playing, he will have a chance to be part of the first regular-season game in NBA history to be played in France when the Hornets face the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 24.

The 36-year-old Parker was born in Belgium but raised in France.

Parker spent the first 17 years of his NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs and enjoyed a fruitful stint in which he made six All-Star teams, won four NBA championships and claimed one NBA Finals MVP Award.

He somewhat surprisingly signed with the Hornets last offseason, joining former San Antonio assistant and Charlotte head coach James Borrego.

Parker appeared in 56 games but for the first time in his career did not start once. Even so, he was productive, with averages of 9.5 points and 3.7 assists in just 17.9 minutes per contest.

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That represented a bump in statistical output from his final season with the Spurs, wherein he averaged 7.7 points and 3.5 assists in 19.5 minutes per game.

Parker acknowledged playing for a team that wasn't in title contention was difficult after the Spurs were in the mix every season during his tenure, and he said that has played into his desire to retire.

"All my life I've played to win titles. With Charlotte being a mid-table team, sometimes you have trouble getting up in the morning to motivate yourself," he said. "I spent 17 years in San Antonio. At the beginning of the season, I thought we had a chance to win the title."

Charlotte missed the playoffs by two games this season and finished ninth in the Eastern Conference with a 39-43 record. The Hornets have not made the postseason since 2015-16, and they could take a step back next season.

If guard Kemba Walker signs elsewhere in free agency, Charlotte will be without a star capable of taking over games.

That would thrust Parker into a bigger role, though, and if he has any desire to resume his career as a starter, playing one more season could give him that opportunity.

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