Tony Parker on leaving the Spurs: ‘It was a very emotional conversation with Gregg Popovich’

By Vincent Frank

Spend 17 years in a relationship, and it’s going to be a roller coaster of emotions once said relationship comes to a conclusion. Whether this is with a significant other in your personal life or a job in the public sector, there’s no major difference.

After spending nearly two decades playing for Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs, future Hall of Fame guard Tony Parker is going through said emotions.

Parker signed with the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, ending his championship career with the Spurs following six All-Star appearances and four NBA titles.

Following his departure, Parker opened up about just how difficult the process has been.

“Tough decision. Tough three days. Tough communicating it all to Pop (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich). But I had to move on,” Parker told ESPN’s Mark J. Spears. “It was a very emotional conversation with Pop and (Spurs general manager) R.C. Buford.”

Given the success Parker had under Pop, it’s reasonable that he’d be a bit emotional about signing with another team. The 36-year-old point guard averaged less than eight points per game last season and is certainly on the back end of his career. Ending said career with the Spurs had to be a priority.

But when it became apparent that San Antonio wasn’t going to match the two-year, $10 million deal Charlotte offered him, Parker had to move on.

The good news here is that Parker’s new head coach in Charlotte,┬áJames Borrego, served as an assistant in San Antonio over the past four seasons and was with the team from 2003-2010.