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Tony Parker approached Gregg Popovich with idea of handing keys to Dejounte Murray

tony parker, gregg popovich, dejounte murray

The San Antonio Spurs have undergone plenty of changes since moving from their golden era, first losing Tim Duncan to retirement, then soon after starting the phasing out of Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker over the past couple of seasons.

The most pivotal moments was when the French floor general surrendered his starting gig to the lanky Dejounte Murray, a move that put the stamp on the team’s eventual passing of the baton to a new wave of stars.

Parker noted this wasn’t a decision made by coach Gregg Popovich, but rather one he took himself, knowing it was time for a change.

“I came up to Pop one day, and I told him my thoughts: It was time for Dejounte to take over full-time as our starting point guard,” wrote Parker in The Players’ Tribune. “I didn’t want it to be a dramatic thing, or this ego thing, or one of these big media things, but I just wanted to get it out in the open — for the good of Dejounte’s development, and for the good of the team. Pop agreed, and thanked me. And then I went and had the same conversation with Dejounte. He was grateful.”

Parker had been a career-long starter for Popovich, taking over Antonio Daniels’ point guard spot shortly into his rookie season. Murray had shown the potential to be a game-changer, not only an excellent rebounder for the position but also a gifted defender, able to challenge and block shots thanks to his 6-foot-5 frame.

Murray had his moments last season and is bound to have plenty more with the reins in his hands for a full season. This move could have also played a part in Parker’s departure and eventual signing with the Charlotte Hornets, knowing he’s now only a backup point guard coming off a quad injury.