Hornets’ Tony Parker was pleasantly surprised to see family show up for Spurs game
Tony Parker spent the majority of his career with the San Antonio Spurs, where he became a beloved member of the organization. This season, however, the French-born point guard is serving a stint with the Charlotte Hornets. When the two teams met inside the AT&T Center on Monday night, Parker was given a hero’s welcome.
Parker, who has said he would like to retire as a Spur, won four championships with San Antonio over the course of 17 seasons. Knowing the importance of his contributions, the Spurs decided to play a special tribute video in his honor before tip-off:
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 15, 2019
Local fans weren’t the only ones who showed up to praise Parker, though. Several members of his family were also in attendance, including his father and two brothers.
Roderick Boone of The Athletic relayed the scene:
Tony Parker peered to his left and his anxiety morphed into utter shock. In a move that caught the meticulous planner by complete surprise, Parker saw two guys wearing No. 9 Spurs jerseys that look exactly like him: his brothers T.J. and Pierre. They were there along with his dad, Tony Sr., and a couple other members of his family.
Seeing T.J. was clearly a stunner. It completely threw Parker off his usual pre-game routine. T.J. is an assistant coach for ASVEL, the French professional basketball team Parker co-owns with Hornets teammate Nic Batum, and ASVEL played in Nanterre, France, on Saturday night. It was like Parker thought he was staring at a mirage. It nearly caused a mini-earthquake inside his 36-year-old body.
“That was unbelievable,” Parker said. “I didn’t know my family was coming because they were in France. I talked to them in the morning and they were like, ‘Yeah, yeah, we’ll watch the game at 3 in the morning. We’re getting up.’ And when I got out for warmups and saw them, that was crazy. I started like shaking a little bit, like goosebumps. Like wow. The whole fam came. That was pretty cool.”
In the end, Parker and the Hornets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 108-93 victory. Parker, who serves as a backup with Charlotte, scored eight points on 4-of-12 shooting, four assists and three rebounds in 19 minutes of action:
“Draining mentally, emotionally, it was just an awesome night,” Parker told ESPN after Monday’s game. “Just want to thank the fans. The way they reacted tonight was just unbelievable. Love, and I appreciate everything. It was just a great memory and a great night for me that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
The Hornets will be back in action on Thursday night, when they’ll welcome the Sacramento Kings to town. Tip-off inside the Spectrum Center is set for 7:00 p.m. ET.