SAN ANTONIO - The Spurs honored Tony Parker with an incredible tribute video Monday night that led to a standing ovation and then cheers of "To-ny, To-ny" from fans in attendance.
The video lasted nearly two minutes and culminated with what appeared to be a choked-up Parker waving back to the fans who supported him through 17 seasons with the Spurs.
"I appreciate all the love from the fans. It means a lot. I don't know what else to say. It was great," Parker said.
Parker scored eight points in his return to San Antonio as the Hornets defeated the Spurs.
The 36-year-old point guard and four-time NBA champion went through a gamut of emotions throughout the evening.
Tony Parker postgame reaction to win over Spurs...says it was an emotional, mentally draining game...thanked fans and talked about family, friends surprising him tonight. #KSATsports #KSATnews #NBA #Spurs pic.twitter.com/fjT6A5R5ZJ — RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) January 15, 2019
"It was not being nervous; it was more like excitement. You can't prepare for a game like that. It's just a lot of emotions and I'm an emotional guy and I care so much about the Spurs," said Parker.
"It's just hard to explain," Parker said. "I don't know if it's nerves or happy excitement. It was a little bit of everything."
Part of Parker's emotional evening came in the form of a surprise visit from friends and family.
“I didn't know my family was coming because they were in France and I talked to them in the morning and they said ‘Yeah, we’ll watch the game at 3 a.m.'" But when I got into warmups, I saw them and that was crazy," Parker said. "I started shaking a little bit and had goosebumps.”
Tony Parker comes out for warmups before #Hornets #Spurs game and is greeted by cheers and friends and family...emotional night expected at AT&T Center. #KSATsports #KSATnews #NBA pic.twitter.com/GBBFG4Ohmu — RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) January 15, 2019
In the end, it was the start and finish the Spurs all-time great deserved.
Parker said before the game he never expected to end his career in another uniform.
Monday night proved that Parker will always be a member of the Spurs family and his No. 9 jersey will ultimately go up in the rafters in silver and black.
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