Hornets’ Tony Parker plans to continue 17-season playoff streak with Charlotte
The Frenchman was drafted by the Spurs with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. The 36-year-old has played under Gregg Popovich and partnered with other greats like Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan and David Robinson, allowing him to put together an impressive 17-year playoff streak.
Hornets players have been picking Parker’s brain for advice since he joined the team. While he accepts his new role as a mentor and role player, he insisted he still wants to win now.
“Don’t mess with my streak, my playoff streak,” Parker said at Monday’s media day. “It’s possible. They haven’t made the playoffs for the past two or three seasons, so you know you have to take that into consideration. Like I said, we have to stay healthy. If we stay healthy, we have a good chance.”
Parker made this remark jokingly, but it’s clear he still has a burning passion for the game and the desire to win. Reporters asked him how far off he thought the current Hornets roster was from being a playoff contender, but Parker said only time will tell.
“I think right now it’s too early to say, because the East is changing. You see LeBron went to the West, so we’ll have to see how it’s going to shape up. Teams like Boston, Philly and Toronto will obviously be strong, but we’ll see what happens,” said Parker.
Most fans never expected to see Parker leave the Spurs, let alone in a Hornets uniform. However, Parker is excited to play alongside fellow Frenchman Nic Batum, who he refers to as his little brother.
Parker also went on to say he has tremendous respect for Michael Jordan and considers it an honor to play for his idol’s franchise. Parker stayed up until 3 a.m. some mornings in France just to watch Jordan play, but now he’ll get to play for MJ and the city of Charlotte.
Parker will pass on his NBA knowledge to the likes of All-Star guard Kemba Walker and the rest of the team’s supporting cast. However, Parker does not want to be referred to as a player-coach this year. He made it known he wants to use his skill set and wisdom to help the team win now, and he could find himself playing at the end of games.
With former Spurs assistant coach James Borrego now at the helm of the Hornets, this could mark the beginning of a beautiful transformation in Buzz City.