Tony Parker entered the San Antonio Spurs Hall of Fame

His former team held Monday a ceremony in his honor, to celebrate the withdrawal of his jersey number.

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Tony Parker had hoped that the withdrawal of his jersey took place on November 11, the anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Eric Gay / AP

NBA Champion, MVP Finals, selected at the All-Star Game … Tony Parker, "TP", entered the Hall of San Antonio Spurs. The basketball franchise had decided to remove its jersey – flocked a number 9 that no other player will wear – which now appears suspended from the ceiling of the AT & T Center, the chamber where the Spurs play.

In seventeen years in the San Antonio jersey (2001-2018), "TP" played 1,198 games, accumulating 15.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game average. And built a stunning record: besides his four rings of champion, he was MVP – the title of most valuable player ("Best Player") is awarded annually by the National Basketball Association (NBA) to the best player of the regular season – the 2007 finals, selected six times in the All-Star Game. Not bad for the 19-year-old and 173-day kid who became November 6, 2001, against Orlando, the youngest playmaker in NBA history.

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"Thank you, San Antonio. It feels good to be at home. Here it will always be home for me. It is very moving "said Tony Parker, who had hoped that the withdrawal of his jersey, the highest honourary act in the NBA franchises, will take place on November 11, anniversary of the armistice that ended the first world war.

"My father is American. My maternal grandfather had the Purple Heart (a US military medal). We must salute all the veterans "He continued, before thanking the meeting: his wife, two children, Josh and Liam, former coach Gregg Popovich and former teammates David Robinson, Bruce Bowen, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili in jerseys already retired .

With Duncan and Ginobili, he formed one of the most talented "Big Three" in history, crowned with four league titles (2003, 2005, 2007, 2014). He is now part of the very exclusive club of Spurs immortals, alongside Johnny Moore, Avery Johnson, James Silas, Sean Elliott and George Gervin.

Rain of tributes

Monday's ceremony was attended by many friends from "TP", including other French players who followed suit in the NBA: Boris Diaw, Nicolas Batum, Ian Mahinmi and Ronny Turiaf.

Gregg Popovich paid tribute to him in a non-humoristic speech: "I want to apologize for the physical and moral abuse that I did to you … The truth is that I was the luckiest man to make you play and see you now enter the pantheon of glory (Spurs) You made my life richer ", said "Pop coach" in front of a foggy Parker.

In an AT & T Center where everyone had put on a black T-shirt with his effigy, written in silver letters "Thanks Tony" in French, messages recorded by the judoka Teddy Riner, the Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc, the footballers Zinedine Zidane, Kylian Mbappe and Thierry Henry or the Spanish pivot Pau Gasol were broadcast.

Even rapper Snoop Dogg, a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, has complied: "" TP9 "! Congratulations, man, you know I love you man. Spurs leader for life! Big Snoop Dogg gets you Tony! "

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