Tony Parker hoping to keep playoff streak alive, help Nic Batum
Recently-signed veteran point guard Tony Parker is hoping to keep the career-long playoff streak alive with his new team, the Charlotte Hornets. A streak that has now spanned through all 17 years of his tenure with the San Antonio Spurs since he first came into the league in 2001.
Parker was curious about joining his French National Team partner Nicolas Batum, as well as being in the same building as his idol, Michael Jordan, who owns the team.
“I take this very seriously,” Parker said of his spending his 18th NBA season with the Hornets when he signs a two-year contract worth a reported $10 million later this week, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. “(That approach) is why we were so good in San Antonio: We were never satisfied; we pushed our limitations.”
Parker will join former Spurs assistant James Borrego, who was named the head coach of this team earlier in the offseason, now with a goal in common, bringing a playoff berth to Charlotte.
“I hope not to break that streak!” Parker said of the Hornets making the playoffs in 2018-19, which would be his 18th straight trip to the playoffs.
Despite dealing with a torn quad at the end of the 2016-17 season and being phased out by the younger Dejounte Murray, Borrego still thinks Parker could be a serviceable asset as a proven veteran and championship experience.
“We were trying to find a player in free agency that had experience, had wisdom, had winning DNA,” Borrego said. “We’ve identified a player for our roster who can really help us grow, take that next step: credibility, accountability, wisdom, experience.
“He is such a valuable piece and has been to that San Antonio organization. We’re very fortunate right now.”
Borrego and company have started to slowly equip their roster with winning players and trimming the fat, after trading Dwight Howard.
Parker will be encouraged by playing alongside Batum, whom he shares a strong relationship with.
“He’s been a business partner and my little brother,” Parker said of Batum. “Anything I can do (with Batum) is very appealing. I hope I can get the best out of him next season.”