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|Tony Parker went to San Antonio as a teenager nearly two decades ago Justin Jones Jersey , quickly became part of the Spurs’ legendary Big Three and celebrated four championships while wearing silver and black.
He’s not done playing.
He’s just done in San Antonio.
Parker agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, ending a 17-year run with the Spurs. And he’s not the only veteran on the move, with Oklahoma City and Carmelo Anthony having mutually agreed they will part ways and Dwight Howard set to sign with the Washington Wizards once he clears waivers.
All of those deals were confirmed Friday to The Associated Press by people involved in the negotiations. Each of the people spoke on condition of anonymity because none of the moves were finalized – but the Parker move was confirmed by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who thanked his now-former point guard in a statement released by the team.
”It’s difficult to put into words how important Tony Parker has been to the Spurs franchise over the past two decades,” Popovich said. ”From his first game in 2001 at age 19, TP has impressed and inspired us – day-after-day, game-after-game, season-after-season – with his passion, dedication and desire. We are grateful to Tony for 17 years of truly amazing memories.”
The move reunites Parker with new Charlotte coach James Borrego, who most recently was an assistant in San Antonio. And Parker is close friends with Charlotte’s Nicolas Batum, who predictably was thrilled by the news.
”Number 9, I see you soon in Buzz City my big bro,” Batum wrote on Twitter.
Parker averaged career lows of 7.7 points and 19.5 minutes last season, when he lost his starting job. He was part of 137 playoff wins with Popovich, the second most by any coach and player in NBA history. Popovich and Spurs star Tim Duncan combined for 157 playoff wins.
Parker told ESPN that it was a difficult decision Antonio Gates Jersey , ”but I had to move on.”
Parker was part of the Spurs’ Big Three with Duncan and Manu Ginobili. Duncan has retired, Parker is now gone and Ginobili’s status for next season is unknown.
”The biggest joy for me has been to have the pleasure of watching TP grow up before our eyes,” Popovich said. ”All of us in the Spurs organization will miss having Tony in our program and wish him and his family the best as he continues his remarkable career in Charlotte.”
Parker has also appeared in 17 consecutive postseasons; only Karl Malone and John Stockton’s run of 19 straight playoff trips are longer.
He has his rings.
Anthony and Howard will be on the move, seeking theirs.
Anthony has likely played his last game for the Oklahoma City Thunder – with the sides having mutually decided that he will not be on the team next season. It remains unclear how that departure will actually happen, as in whether it will be through a buyout, the Thunder waiving him or a trade.
Anthony is due to make $28 million this season, his last in a five-year, $125 million contract he signed with New York before getting moved to Oklahoma City. He has said he will not accept a reserve role, and by parting with him – somehow – the Thunder could save more than $90 million in luxury tax payments.
Anthony averaged 16.2 points on 40 percent shooting last season, both career lows. But there will be suitors for him, with the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Miami Heat all believed to have interest.
Howard started Friday on Charlotte’s roster, then was traded to Brooklyn – a deal agreed to days ago, but one that couldn’t be completed until Friday when the league’s offseason moratorium on player movement ended. The Nets will buy him out, which will pave the way for Howard to eventually sign with the Wizards.
A person familiar with the terms told AP that Howard would play on a one-year, $5.3 million deal. Later Friday Chris Jones Jersey , ESPN reported that Howard will actually be signing a two-year deal in Washington – with the second year at his option.
Buyout terms with Howard, who was due to make $24 million this season, were progressing Friday and Nets general manager Sean Marks said they should be wrapped up quickly.
”This is something that we mutually want,” Marks said. ”Neither one of us is trying to have this drawn out. I think we’re going to leave on good terms. It’ll hopefully work out for both sides.”
The lifting of the moratorium meant a slew of moves that have been agreed to in recent days could be finalized, such as Paul George’s four-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Rajon Rondo’s signing to play with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Rondo agreed to join the Lakers earlier in the week, but couldn’t sign until Friday.
”I love shake-ups in the summertime, as far guys switching teams or the NBA looking a little bit different,” Rondo said not long after putting his signature on his one-year, $9 million deal to join the Lakers – a team he faced twice in the NBA Finals when he played for Boston. ”It’s going to be very interesting this year and I look forward to a lot of exciting basketball.”
Teammates have long stopped laughing at J.D. Martinez and his iPad.
Boston’s All-Star slugger is serious about every swing he takes, even in batting practice, and he has the tape to prove it. Get to the park early enough for Red Sox BP, and you’ll see a pair of iPads attached to tripods, one on each side of the batting cage. When the 30-year-old Martinez steps up, video coordinator Billy Broadbent will point a third iPad at the batter’s box – Martinez’s personal device, which he’s used to record his practice cuts since 2015.
After batting practice, Martinez retreats to the clubhouse to review the footage Justin Britt Jersey , making sure every piece of his carefully crafted swing is in the right place.
”It makes me who I am,” Martinez told The Associated Press. ”I always tell everybody that I’m not a natural hitter. I’m a trained hitter.”
His meticulous preparation amazes even the hardest-working major leaguers, and it’s paid off. He signed a $110 million, five-year deal with the Red Sox in the offseason, a long way from his early career struggles with Houston, and he was named an All-Star for the third time this season while leading the majors with 29 homers and 80 RBIs.
After posting a meager .650 OPS in 86 games in 2013, Martinez went to the drawing board on his swing. He jokes that he took roughly 10 million flawed swings before overhauling his approach prior to a breakout 2014, and he’s nervous those old habits might creep back in if he’s not diligent.
”I had to teach myself the proper swing and the mechanics that I have to do,” he said. ”I have to stay on top of it because my body will find a way to let 10 million swings I’ve taken when I was a kid slowly come back in. So, I have to grind away to get out of the bad habits.”
Thus the daily video reviews, though it wasn’t always so easy to have his cuts captured.
Martinez was released by Houston during spring training in 2014 and landed with Detroit. He experimented with the iPad that season but was razzed and discouraged about it by Tigers veterans. He didn’t make the iPad a staple of his routine until he stuck with the major league club the next season.
”In ’14 I was too scared to do it with Detroit because I was too young, and it was an older team,” he said. ”In ’15 I had more confidence.”
So what does Martinez look for day after day when he’s going over BP footage?
”Similarities,” he said. ”It’s like the game; ever play the game matchup and what’s different in this picture? You have two pictures side by side. That’s pretty much what I do.
”Usually when I’m swinging well, feeling well and know that I’m in a good place, I just save them Jason Spriggs Jersey ,” he added. ”Ones that when I’m feeling crappy, I just delete them. Then I have a reference point for the future.”
Martinez hit .302 with 28 homers and 65 RBIs in 62 games with Arizona last season after a midyear trade from Detroit. His short stay made a major impression with the Diamondbacks.
”I learned a lot from him just in the two months we were together,” said Arizona slugger Paul Goldschmidt, also known around the league for his thorough preparation. ”He’s just so dedicated; as prepared as anyone is out there on his own swing, on the way pitchers are going to pitch, and just really committed.”
Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said the club still borrows from Martinez’s routine.
”J.D., his work habits were really unbelievable,” he said. ”Once he got to the batting cage, it was very specific with one particular detail he was working on. That’s what we’ve inherited this year with all of our hitters.”
Fellow Boston All-Star Mookie Betts has also taken a keen interest in Martinez’s habits. The pair regularly talk hitting around the batting cage, with Betts eager to figure out how Martinez generates so much opposite-field power.
”That’s why he’s one of a kind,” Betts said. ”But he can hit it out of any part of the park, too.”
Freelancer Jose M. Romero in Arizona contributed to this story.
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