Basketball in the NBA is a game of heroes and legends, inspiring their loyal fans. As the dust sets on a generation of superstars, it’s time to reminisce about their exploits and legacies.
Spotlight on: Tony Parker
The legacy: Standing only 6-foot-2, Tony Parker changed the role and the image of point guards in the modern game. With his deadly array of spin moves and floaters, Parker often led the League in points and field goal percentage in the paint. Although he was a willing passer, his lasting image will be that of a relentless and fearless scorer in the land of the giants, and a torchbearer for the scoring point guards of today.
Evolution of his game: The Belgium-born Parker was coveted for his speed and scoring touch. With his burning pace, he always got past his man with ease and then frustrated the opposing big with his untouchable teardrops. Although he was an inconsistent shooter in his youth, Parker eventually earned a respectable midrange jumper after years of training with the Spurs’ famed shooting coach Chip Engelland. This has increased the longevity of his game as he was able to effectively lead the pick-and-roll and punish defenders who backed off on his outside shot.
Most memorable moments: The youngest member of the Spurs’ Big Three, Tony Parker came into the NBA as a little-known 19-year-old and managed to catch David Robinson’s last title in 2003 with a relatively minor role. Spurs fans will remember the French teenager who often bore the brunt of Gregg Popovich’s outbursts, with his risk-taking and shot selection. Fast forward a decade and a half, and the Frenchman will leave the game as a multiple-time NBA champion who was the focal point of San Antonio’s offense in 2007 as he took home the Finals MVP trophy that year. Looking almost unguardable as he led the Spurs to a 4-0 sweep of LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers, he even outplayed Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, his own Hall-of-Fame caliber teammates.
Article written by Wong Chin Yi
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the NBA.