Tony Parker signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Hornets this offseason, a shocking move considering he had worn a Spurs uniform for the first 17 seasons of his NBA career. It turns out Parker's decision ultimately had little to do with the money Charlotte put on the table.
The veteran point guard recently told French outlet L'Expresso he received a similar offer from San Antonio, but he didn't want to be relegated to the bench behind Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills.
"The Spurs offered me the same thing (contractually) as Charlotte, but it was more about the role," Parker said (via News 4 San Antonio). "It was not a question of money. And it's important that people know this, because there are a lot of people who were 'angry' at the Spurs, thinking the franchise had not offered me anything.
"Yes, they offered me something similar, but I did not want to finish [as an] assistant coach. And that was the role they offered me, when I wanted to play."
Parker, who averaged 7.7 points and 3.5 assists per game last season, said playing for Hornets owner Michael Jordan was an opportunity he couldn't pass up because Jordan "made me want to play basketball." Parker will be more than just a mentor for younger players, as Charlotte needs a floor general to log productive minutes behind All-Star Kemba Walker. Parker's familiarity with Hornets head coach James Borrego, a former Spurs assistant, should make the transition easier.
As for his previous comments about retiring with the Spurs, Parker explains there was a bit of confusion with what he was really trying to say.
"My jersey will be retired in San Antonio, surely, but that's why there was a little misunderstanding when I was in China," Parker said, referencing an interview last month with Chinese web site HUPU. "They said I was going to finish my career with the Spurs, but what I was saying in fact is that my jersey will be hanging out there.
"Otherwise, as a player, go play, it's over with the Spurs."