While Tim Duncan and Tony Parker were never the flashiest players, they both had incredibly successful NBA careers. The pair didn’t drop off the face of the earth in retirement, though. Duncan works under Gregg Popovich on the San Antonio Spurs coaching staff; Parker has returned to France, but he still has his eyes set on the NBA.
While Tim Duncan may be working his way up the coaching ladder, Tony Parker isn’t planning on joining him on the sidelines. The former point guard wants to aim higher and become an NBA owner.
Tony Parker’s NBA career
Growing up in Europe, Tony Parker was naturally interested in soccer. After seeing Michael Jordan during visits to Chicago, however, he started to take basketball more seriously.
Rather than heading to an American college, Parker plied his trade in the French professional ranks. Eventually, the guard decided he was ready to cross the Atlantic and entered the 2001 NBA draft. Despite some initial concerns, the San Antonio Spurs took Parker with the 28th overall pick.
Parker promptly repaid the Spurs’ faith in him. During his first season in North America, the guard was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie team; during his second campaign, he helped San Antonio life the Larry O’Brien Trophy. He would spend a total of 17 seasons in Texas, turning into a star and winning three more rings; he would suit up for one final season with the Charlotte Hornets before calling it a career in 2019.
Keeping busy in retirement
For some professional athletes, retirement is a chance to chill out, hit the golf course, and life without a schedule. Tony Parker, however, is taking things in the opposite direction.
After calling it a career in the NBA, Parker didn’t withdraw from sports; he simply approached them from a different perspective. Since 2014, he’s been the majority owner and president of ASVEL Basket, a club with both men’s and women’s basketball teams. That isn’t the guard’s only business venture, though.
As laid out by Marc J. Spears in the Undefeated, Parker still has plenty on his plate these days. Beyond his role with ASVEL Basket, the former guard has his own basketball academy; he’s also teamed up with Nicolas Batum, who he played alongside in Charlotte, to buy a pair of ski resorts. Parker is also a co-owner of an NWSL team and serves as the president of NorthRock Partners’ sports, artists and entertainment division. He’s even been tapped as the future president of Olympique Lyonnais’ massive men’s soccer club.
Tony Parker has his sights set on NBA ownership
While Tony Parker’s various obligations keep him busy, the former point guard hasn’t completely moved on from the league where he became a star. In fact, NBA ownership could be in his future.
During their interview, Spears asked Parker if he was going to move to France full-time. “No, I plan on staying in the U.S. I love the U.S. I have been living here for 20 years, and I don’t mind traveling,” the former point guard explained. “The ultimate goal is to one day own an NBA team. I know with the OL group, we have big dreams.
Spears then asked Parker if he and his french partners would try to buy an NBA team. “It’s a strong possibility. Right now, we have different objectives and goals. But in five to 10 years,” Parker continued. “I am the type of person who always dreams big. I have already had discussions with the soccer president about that.”
During his playing career, Parker took home more than $165 million in salary; his net worth is estimated at $75 million. That’s probably not enough to buy an NBA franchise outright, but, with the backing of the Lyon Group—their soccer club sits in 17th place in the Deloitte Money League with €220 million in 2019 revenue—the numbers could work out. If nothing else, Parker and company should be able to buy a significant stake in a team, should the right opportunity arise.
While it’s impossible to know what the future holds, Tony Parker is interested in returning to the NBA. In five to ten years, Tim Duncan will have plenty of coaching experience; maybe the two teammates could reunite and chase another championship.