Friday night, San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker will miss a playoff game after season-ending surgery. For longtime Spur Manu Ginobili, it’s the first time playoff game he’ll ever play without the Frenchman beside him.
Manu Ginobili on Tony Parker: "It's going to be the first playoff game I play without him. It is a little bit strange, a little sad, too."
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 5, 2017
Given that Parker has been in the league longer than Ginobili and both have been in San Antonio for their entire careers, this isn’t necessarily surprising.
However, it does make you realize just how insane the Spurs have been for so long. Parker has been there since 2001, Ginobili since 2003 and the Spurs have been in the postseason every single one of those years. And somehow, Parker, Ginobili (and Tim Duncan) never got hurt until now.
Coaches get criticized for resting players too much during the regular season, but if you want to see the fruits of doing so, just take a look at Ginobili’s quote. The Spurs are the oldest team in the league, constantly go deep in the postseason yet remain healthy year after year. Resting is no small part of that.
The Spurs will miss Parker, but this injury isn’t the end of the world, at least from a basketball perspective. For most fans, however, it will be just as weird seeing them without Parker as it is for Ginobili.