William Anthony Parker, also known as Tony Parker, is a professional basketball player from France who plays as a point guard. Parker was born to a professional basketball player and that aided his introduction to the sport. Born in Belgium, Parker played his professional basketball in France after being raised in that country. He began his playing career at Paris Basket Racing in 1999, representing the French team in the European leagues.
Parker represented France at the 2000 FIBA European Under-18 Championships where he won the MVP award. It was all but natural that at the end of 2001, he would move to the NBA with a lot of hype surrounding this young European superstar.
Sure enough, at the 2001 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs picked him at 28th overall, and what a pick it was for the Texas-based team. Parker quickly took up their starting point guard position and was named to the 2001-02 All-NBA Rookie team as their starting point guard during the All-Star weekend. The following year, he led the Spurs to the 2003 NBA Championship title, a feat repeated in 2005 and 2007. With a high field goal percentage and some immaculate passing, Parker became indispensible to the Spurs, getting selected for the 2006, 2007 and 2009 NBA All-Star games. In the 2007 edition, Parker was named as the MVP for the NBA Finals, another feather in a cap that was quickly running out of space for feathers.
Despite being more interested in football, in his early days in France, Parker saw the evolution of Michael Jordan and became more interested in basketball. Despite his lack of size, Parker used his speed and skills to make up for his height.
Parker won the 2007 Euroscar European Player of the Year award as well, while being named to the 2008-09 All-NBA third team. At the international level, Parker represented the senior national French team at the 2005 FIBA European Championships where he bagged a Bronze medal for his team. However, the highlight of his career would be the induction into the Legion of Honour, the highest French commendation, in 2007.