On Monday, Tony Parker announced his retirement from the NBA after 18 seasons in the league. A four-time NBA Champion with the San Antonio Spurs, Parker was a key member of their dynasty after getting drafted in 2001 as the last pick in the first round.
Parker announced his retirement in San Antonio, stating the reason he stepped away from the game is that he’s not the same player he once was. After spending just one season with the Hornets, don’t be surprised if Parker signs a one-day contract with the Spurs to retire as a member of the team he played 17 years for.
A sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer, Parker will join Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki in the stacked 2023 Hall of Fame Class. All three players were iconic members of the NBA throughout the 2000s and share eight championships between each other.
In order to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, retired players must fulfill a variety of requirements. First, a player must be retired for four full seasons. That means 2023 marks the earliest date that Wade, Nowitzki, and Parker can be inducted in the HOF.
Given their track record an enormous impact on the NBA, there’s no debate that Wade, Nowitzki, and Parker will be first-ballot Hall of Famers representing the stacked Class of 2023.
With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the accomplishments of the three headline players in the Hall of Fame class of 2023.
Playing 18 seasons in the NBA, Parker was one of the best point guards in the league throughout the majority of his career. A four-time Champion with the Spurs, Parker was a Finals MVP in 2007, a six-time NBA All-Star and three-time All-NBA Second Team member.
Outside of his career in the NBA, Parker had a strong presence on the French international team. Most notably, he was the MVP and top scorer of the 2013 FIBA EuroBasket tournament, helping France win their first Gold Medal in tournament history. He is widely regarded as the greatest French basketball player of all time. A champion both in the NBA and internationally, Parker has had success at every level of his basketball career.
After 16-years in the NBA, Wade announced that the 2018-2019 NBA season would be his last. Although the 37-year old was accepting of his role off the bench, Wade still excelled, averaging 15 points, 4.2 assists and 4 rebounds per game in his final year. The former No. 5 overall pick was a three-time NBA champion, 2006 NBA Finals MVP, 13-time NBA All-Star and two-time All-NBA First Team member. Outside of when he played with the Chicago Bulls for the 2016-2017 season and had a brief stint with the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2017-2018 season, Wade spent his entire career as a member of the Miami Heat. It was only fitting that the Cavs traded him back to the Heat, so he could finish where he started.
On the international stage, Wade was a member of the gold medal-winning Team USA in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Wade is regarded as one of the best shooting guards in basketball history and will cap off his illustrious career with a Hall of Fame induction come 2023.
Announcing his retirement following the Mavericks’ final home game this season, Nowitzki will go down as one of the greatest shooting bigs in basketball history. Nowitzki was drafted No. 9 overall in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and quickly traded to Dallas, where he spent the entirety of his 21-year career. A 2011 NBA Champion and Finals MVP, Nowitzki helped deliver Dallas their first NBA title in franchise history, when the Mavs toppled the Heat’s Big Three of James, Wade, and Chris Bosh.
Nowitzki finished his career as a 14-time NBA All-Star, Four-time All-NBA First Team recipient and was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in the league during the 2007 season. On the international stage, Nowitzki is a Three-time FIBA EuroBasket Top Scorer, Six-time Euroscar Player of the Year and Two-time FIBA Europe Men’s Player of the Year, representing Germany. Nowitzki was also the 2002 FIBA World Championship MVP and top scorer for his home country.
The 2023 Hall of Fame ceremony will be a must-watch event and a final farewell to some of the biggest legends in NBA history.