After extensive research and deep thought, I have determined the responsible parties in the conspiracy to devalue the career of San Antonio’s Tony Parker.
He is, you might have often read and heard, underrated and not appreciated – not, at least, as one of the best point guards of the past decade. When discussions of the great NBA point guards are in progress, Parker is an afterthought.
“Even today, with all he has done, he still doesn’t get the credit he deserves,” says Mavericks TV analyst Derek Harper, once an outstanding but, yes, underrated point guard. “All you hear about is Chris Paul and Deron Williams. People even rate Steve Nash over Tony right now.”
And that, of course, doesn’t make a lot of sense now since Nash is 38 and in the twilight of his career..
When probing the issue of why Parker is not rated as, say, the best point guard in the NBA, excuses are plentiful.
He’s played his entire career with Tim Duncan, and how great do you have to be to throw Duncan the ball?
He’s played his entire career in small market San Antonio. And despite four championships, three with Parker at the point, the Spurs simply do not motivate the masses.
But the issue is bigger than that. In the sophisticated world of professional basketball, greatness should be obvious.
It is to Western Conference coaches. Last week, they put Parker on an All-Star team for a fifth time. Let’s ignore the fact that Chris Paul (no titles) has been on six in a career that is four years shorter and concentrate on the positive.
Parker was only 19 when he began his career. Even though the Spurs won a title in his second season, he probably was not playing at an All-Star level until at least his fourth season. So the argument could be made he has been All-Star worthy for nine seasons and has made it five times.
Not what it should have been, but we can accept it.
The coaches should have done a better job, but then again, a bunch of them got fired along the way, so they’re not perfect.
Parker has never sniffed an All-Star starting berth, so it does seem that he’s underrated by the fans. In this year’s voting, he finished seventh among guards. Last year, he was not even in the top 10. But, as we know, All-Star voting is a popularity contest and we’ve already concluded that San Antonio is not a popular franchise. It’s not so much that fans underrate his ability; he’s just not as popular as other guards.
So who is responsible for this? We in the media demand to know.
Well, consider this. During his first 11 years in the league, Parker has made only two All-NBA teams – second team in 2011-12 and third team in 2008-09.
So this is where we are in our investigation. Numerous articles have been written about Tony Parker being underrated. It has been discussed by announcers at length during games. It has been a popular topic of radio talk shows.
NBA awards are voted on by writers and broadcasters – precisely the people who lament the lack of recognition given to Parker. So the group responsible for Parker being underrated is the group that is the primary cause of the problem …