Tony Parker's decision to leave Spurs had nothing to do with money

Tony Parker left the Spurs due to concerns over his role. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

After 17 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, Tony Parker‘s departure to the Charlotte Hornets came as a shock. Even if the move made sense, the thought of Parker wearing another team’s jersey seemed strange.

Turns out, Parker staying with the Spurs was not due to money. The team actually matched Charlotte’s offer, but Parker turned it down because the Hornets promised him a bigger role, according to L’Expresso, a French publication.

Parker’s comments were transcribed by

“The Spurs offered me the same thing (contractually) as Charlotte, but it was more about the role. 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.”

What role did the Spurs want Tony Parker to play?

The Spurs were willing to retain Parker, but wanted him to be an assistant-coach. It’s unclear if that offer was as a full-time coach or as a player whose primary job was to act as a mentor.

Dejounte Murray took over as the primary point guard for the Spurs last season. Had Parker remained in San Antonio, he would have been tasked with helping the 21-year-old Murray and the team’s other young players develop.

Why did Tony Parker sign with the Hornets?

The team offered him a chance to see the court more. With Charlotte, Parker is expected to be the back-up point guard behind Kemba Walker.

It also helped that Parker’s idol, Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan, owns the Hornets. Parker admitted that played a role in his decision.

What happens next for Tony Parker and the Spurs?

Parker is expected to return to San Antonio next January as a member of the Hornets. Once his career is over, Parker will likely retire as a Spur and be celebrated by the team. His relationship remains strong with the franchise despite his departure.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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