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NBA icon Tony Parker retiring after 18 seasons

By Jake Elman
1/2
Longtime NBA point guard Tony Parker spent all but one season with the San Antonio Spurs before he retired Monday. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/dce1971317c677ea724dde4f9fe364ea/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Longtime NBA point guard Tony Parker spent all but one season with the San Antonio Spurs before he retired Monday. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 10 (UPI) -- Longtime NBA point guard Tony Parker officially announced his retirement Monday after 18 seasons in the league.

Parker, 37, told ESPN's The Undefeated that he will not return for a final season. The six-time All-Star spent last season with the Charlotte Hornets after 17 years with the San Antonio Spurs.

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"A lot of different stuff ultimately led me to this decision," Parker said. "But, at the end of the day, I was like if I can't be Tony Parker anymore and I can't play for a championship, I don't want to play basketball anymore."

Parker was the 28th overall pick by the Spurs in 2001. He averaged 15.5 points and 5.6 assists in 1,254 games.

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Parker also helped France's men's national basketball team to a championship in the 2013 EuroBasket tournament.

"Even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would live all those unbelievable moments with the NBA and the French National Team," Parker tweeted. "Thank you for everything!

Parker won four championships with teammates Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili in San Antonio. The Spurs' 'Big Three' ended the Miami Heat's dynasty with a five-game win in the 2014 NBA Finals.

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Parker became the first European player to win Finals MVP honors in 2007, when the Spurs swept LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I wanted to play 20 seasons and I still think I can play," Parker said. "I had a good season with the Hornets, and I was healthy. But at the same time now, I don't see any reason to play 20 seasons."

Parker said he plans to live in San Antonio, but will spend time in France as the owner and president of ASVEL, a French professional men's and women's basketball club. The four-time NBA champion is also opening the Tony Parker Adequat Academy in his hometown of Lyon, France, later this year.

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