Veteran’s promise holds true as Spurs advance to Finals
When Tony Parker makes a promise, he fully intends on keeping it. Just one year ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder knocked the San Antonio Spurs out of the playoffs in the Western Conference finals. The old and washed up point guard that so many referred to Parker as made a promise then to veteran Tim Duncan that Parker was going to carry the San Antonio Spurs to the finals the following season.
On Monday night, Parker’s promise to Duncan came true after the San Antonio Spurs completed a sweep against the Memphis Grizzlies and advanced to the NBA Finals after a six-year Finals drought. With tears in his eyes, the Western Conference trophy in his hand, and arguably one of the best playoff performances by a point guard left on the court, Parker recounted the vow he made to his teammate about this moment.
“Since last year, I promised to him (Duncan) that we will go back, go back to the Finals and get an opportunity to win the whole thing and I’m trying to do my best, try to be aggressive every night,” Parker told ESPN. “I think everybody on the team, we really want to do it for him. We win the West and now it’s one more step. This is the hardest one.”
Parker and Duncan have been on the court together since 2002. Both are 37 years old, and they know they are old by NBA standards. Those NBA standards do not seem to affect the veteran forward and his chances on winning his fifth championship ring.
“I’m not worried about how old I am or whatever it may be,” Duncan told Yahoo! Sports. “…We’ve been counted out for a bunch of years and we haven’t been there in forever. It would mean a lot.”
As much as a championship would mean to Duncan, Tony Parker knows how much Duncan personally means to him on and off the court.
“Timmy means a lot to me. I learned so much from him,” Parker said about the veteran centre forward. “From the first day I arrived in San Antonio, he’s always had my back. He’s a very good friend, very close to me on the court and off the court.”
With the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers still battling it out for the Eastern conference, the Spurs will enjoy their time off and get as healthy as possible for their first game.