William Anthony Parker Jr
Tony Parker was born in Bruges,
Belgium but was raised in France. Originally an avid soccer fan, Tony was heavily influenced by the international stardom of Michael Jordan. He pursued basketball in France and in time he joined the professional INSEP league there. In spite of offers from UCLA and Georgia Tech, Tony chose to go straight to the NBA. He declared for the 2001 NBA Draft.
As an unknown French player, Tony was not picked in the first round. The San Antonio Spurs took him in the second. Tony earned a starting spot his rookie year. He made the All-Rookie First Team. The next year the Frenchman improved his play. Along with NBA legend Tim Duncan, Tony and the Spurs claimed the 2012 NBA Championship. Doubts still remained in San Antonio if Tony Parker was their point guard of the future. Tony pulled coach Gregg Popovich aside. He wanted the spot. The Spurs lost the Western Conference semi-finals in 2004 to the Lakers. Tony continued to build. The Spurs won another ring in 2005. 2006 saw Tony earn his first All-Star bid, but no ring. The next year Tony was again named an All-Star. He also won a ring and Finals MVP to go with it. It would be seven years until he got another championship, earning his fourth ring in 2014. It was his last with the Spurs. In 2018, the four-time champion was dealt to the Charlotte Hornets.
- Tony on NBA fashion since he entered the league in 2001 “When I first came in the league it was crazy everyone was wearing such big stuff . . . big baggy jerseys and stuff like that. I was kind of surprised coming from France at how they dressed, but that was just their identity,” Parker explained. “They would make fun of me when I was wearing my tight suits and now they wear tight suits. They all do the same thing. I was already dressing like that a long time ago.”
- Tony is the first European-born player to win Finals MVP
- In 2007, Tony released a French hip-hop album titled TP
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