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Tony Parker wants to play 20 seasons, even if it’s not with the Spurs

He’d prefer to stay in San Antonio, but...

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Parker has been saying for a while now that his ultimate goal is to play in the NBA for 20 seasons, all with the one team he has known: the San Antonio Spurs. Until about a year ago that certainly seemed possible for the team’s greatest point guard of all time.

Despite some gradual slippage in numbers since his last All-Star appearance in 2015 (mostly due to being past his prime and deferring the leading role to Kawhi Leonard), he was still one of better starting point guards in the league up until his devastating quad injury during the 2017 playoffs.

He made an admirable comeback that season but eventually relinquished his starting role to Dejounte Murray when Gregg Popovich felt it was time to make the change. Whether or not that plays a role in Parker’s free agency decisions this summer remains to be seen, but he did recently admit to French station RMC Sports that he’s open to finishing his career with another team if it comes down to that.

“It is not yet sure that I’ll stay with the Spurs. I am open to all proposals, I would like to have my entire career in San Antonio.

The sport is a business and we will have to make choices. I had 17 years with the Spurs, I would always be nostalgic but this is not the end of the world if I change my club. I figure two to three years more, if I go somewhere else, I’m 50-50. I do not see myself outside basketball yet I want to stay three more years to do the 20 seasons.”

So, he would like to stay in San Antonio, but he’s three seasons short of his goal. How much would the Spurs be willing to offer him for what could eventually end up being a third-sting, player/coach role, and would other teams offer him more than the Spurs are willing to consider to pry him away?

Whatever Parker decides will be completely understandable. While it would be odd to see him in another uniform, even if he does move on Spurs fans should welcome their four-time champion with open arms every time he steps foot in the AT&T Center, and soon enough his #9 jersey will be hanging in the rafters.