Birth date 19 Jun 1975 (42 years)
Nationality United States United States
Team history
Cleveland Cavaliers 2009 - present
Toronto Raptors 2006 - 2009
Maccabi 2003 - 2006
Maccabi 2000 - 2002
Philadelphia 76ers 1997 - 1999
Orlando Magic 1999

Anthony Michael Parker is a professional basketball player from the United States of America who plays as a shooting guard. Parker was one of three siblings to play in the NBA. While his younger brother, Marcus, also played high school basketball, it was his younger sister, Candace, who made the mark by being the number one draft pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft.

Parker went to the Naperville Central High School before going on to study liberal arts at Bradley University. By his junior year, Parker had become an important player for the team, scoring 18.9 points per game with 42% from behind the arc. That year, Parker won the Missouri Valley Conference MVP award as well as won All-MVC team honours. Academically, Parker was outstanding, winning two Major Robert H. Lawrence Jr. Scholarships at the college.

After graduating from Bradley, Parker declared for the 1997 NBA Draft and was picked at 21st overall by the New Jersey Nets. The same day, a multiplayer trade saw him move to the Philadelphia 76ers where he played the next two seasons. Parker had a torrid start to the season, playing just 5 or so minutes on an average, in 39 regular season games. This was mainly due to the injury trouble that plagued him in his early years, keeping him out for over 120 games. The 76ers had had enough and decided to trade him out to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Billy Owens in 1999. Parker put up 3.6 points per game with 1.7 rebounds and was released in January of 2000. He spent the remaining months of the season at the CBA with the Quad City Thunder, playing 26 games at an average of 11.5 points per game.

It seemed to be all over for Parker in the NBA and he decided to try and revive his career by moving to Europe. The initial plan was to spend a good season in Europe and get the rhythm back however, Parker’s stint went on for 5 years, at various clubs.

He started off with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, one of the strongest teams in Europe. Initially, there was a lot of tensions because of the bomb blasts however, once Parker and his wife settled down, things went by smoothly. Doron Sheffer’s retirement had left a huge gap in the shooting guard position, one that Parker did more than enough to fill in.

However, his NBA experience meant that Parker would end up playing more or less as a point guard. Parker would score, grab rebounds, block shots and even wow the audiences with his high flying dunks. In his very first season, Parker won the Israeli domestic title as well as the Israeli National Cup. They also went on to win the Suproleague Cup. After a fantastic first season, Parker took his form into 2001-02 where he scored at 16.4 points per game with 5.2 rebounds to take Maccabi to both domestic titles as well as to the Final Four of the 2001-02 Euroleague.

Parker finally left Israel in December 2002 but not to get back to the USA. In January of 2003, Parker moved to Italy to play for Virtus Rome in the Italian Lega A. With 14.5 points per game and 5.6 rebounds, Parker was becoming a strong force but a strong urge pulled him back to Israel and he decided to go back after just half a year at Rome.

In 2004 and 2005, Parker helped his team win the Israeli Super League, the Israeli National Cup as well as the Euroleague titles. He won the Israeli Super League MVP award, as well as got named as the Final Four MVP in the Euroleague in 2003-04. The following season, Parker was named to the All-Euroleague team as well as the MVP for the entire Euroleague championships after averaging 18.0 points per game with 5.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game for the entire season.

In 2005-06, his final season in Israel, Parker helped the team win the domestic league and the National Cup however, Maccabi fell at the final hurdle in the 2005-06 Euroleague finals when they lost to CSKA Moscow by 4 points. Parker was still named as the Euroleague MVP and was also named to the First Team All-Euroleague for the second year in a row.

In 2005, a pre-season friendly saw Maccabi Tel-Aviv play against the Toronto Raptors. Parker led Maccabi to a 105-103 win including scoring the winning shot with less than a second to go. The Air Canada Center in Toronto was given a preview of what was to come over the next season or so as Parker finally decided to move back to the NBA by signing up with the Toronto Raptors.

A 3-year, $12 million deal got Parker the starting position as the Raptors’ shooting guard. By the end of the season, Parker had a 12.4 points per game average along with 2.1 assists per game and 3.9 rebounds per game. Parker was extremely instrument in both offense & defense and helped the Raptors get to their first-ever division title as well as a play-off berth for 5 years. The team also recorded its best regular season record ever.

In the playoffs, Parker was asked to defend against former Raptors and current Nets’ powerhouse, Vince Carter. Parker was incredible as Carter was limited to just 13-for-43 from the floor in the first two games. Despite this performance, the Raptors lost out in 6 but Parker was named as the divisional winner of the 2006-07 NBA Sportsmanship Award.

Jason Kapono was added to the Raptors’ roster however Parker decided to stay on and was still the starting shooting guard. Injuries to T. J. Ford and Chris Bosh meant that Parker would have to play every game that season and he made sure that the Raptors got to the playoffs without any worries. Seeded sixth, the Raptors lost out in round one to the Orlando Magic in 5. Parker went on to be named as the best Euroleague players to have played in the NBA and by the end of the season, he was 7th in the all-time leaders in terms of 3-point scoring percentage.

Kapono temporarily played in the shooting guard position after Sam Mitchell, their head coach, was fired. Once Calderon was injured in December, Parker had to come in for the point guard role and after struggling through December, Parker did get a hang of things in January. However, injuries and poor performances meant that the Raptors were not good enough for the playoffs. Parker also dropped in his numbers and at the end of the season, his hopes of being with the Raptors took a big hit and DeMar DeRozan came into the team as the shooting guard, meaning that Parker would have to try his hand at free agency.

In July 2009, Parker signed a 2-year, $6 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Parker has also played at the international level with the US Men’s Basketball team during his years in college. He was named to the Under-22 team where he played alongside the likes of Tim Duncan and Paul Pierce. He won the COPABA 22 and Under tournament with his team in 1996 and helped the team qualify for the 1997 FIBA Under-21 World Championships. Parker helped the team clinch the gold medal there as well, scoring 19 on the way to a win over Canada.

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