Popovich pays tribute to Parker as Hornets move confirmed

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San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich hailed Tony Parker's "passion, dedication and desire" as he confirmed the veteran point guard's decision to sign with the Charlotte Hornets.

Parker, 36, has spent his entire 17-year NBA career with the Spurs, helping San Antonio win four titles while becoming a six-time All-Star.

The Spurs were said to be keen to re-sign Parker, but he has now agreed a reported two-year $10million deal with the Hornets.

Popovich said in a statement: "It's difficult to put into words how important Tony Parker has been to the Spurs franchise over the past two decades.

"From his first game in 2001 at age 19, TP has impressed and inspired us — day-after-day, game-after-game, season-after-season — with his passion, dedication and desire. We are grateful to Tony for 17 years of truly amazing memories.

"While the four championships, six All-Star appearances and four All-NBA selections highlight his resume, the biggest joy for me has been to have the pleasure of watching TP grow up before our eyes. 

"All of us in the Spurs organisation will miss having Tony in our program and wish him and his family the best as he continues his remarkable career in Charlotte."

Parker averaged only 7.7 points and 3.5 assists per game last season behind starting point guard Dejounte Murray, but he still holds value as a veteran backup capable of running an offense. 

He averaged fewer than 20 minutes per game and played only 55 games with 21 starts in 2017-18 as he returned from a quad injury in November.