After nine seasons in the NBA, his last three with the Cleveland Cavaliers, shooting guard Anthony Parker has decided to move on from playing professional. At age 37 Parker, who also played six seasons Israel for Maccabi Tel Aviv, said, “I wanted to make that decision after the season and make sure that is what I wanted to do. I’m at peace with it and excited for whatever the future has for me.”
During his time with the Euroleague, Parker shot 41.1 percent from three during his time in Israel. His great long-range shooting carried over inside the arc and at the free throw line, as he shot 52.8 percent from the field and 81.8 percent from the charity stripe.
Parker was selected in the first round of the 1997 NBA Draft, but played in the Euroleague from 2000-2006 before returning to the NBA. It wasn’t until the 2009-2010 season when Parker joined the Cavaliers, as they hoped he would become a key player in helping LeBron win a championship.
In his 204 games in Cleveland Parker averaged 7.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 42.2 percent from the field. He played and started in 81 games in his first season with the Wine and Gold, and converted on 108 of 261 three-point attempts.
Parker played in 51 of the 66 games this season, averaging 7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in his final contract year with the Cavaliers. Parker’s age sure showed while he was on the court, as there were times when head coach Byron Scott would take Parker out of the game when he was dogging it on the court.
It was known that Parker wouldn’t be returning to the Cavaliers next season, but he was waiting to make a decision on his future with playing basketball once he became a free agent. Parker finished his career averaging 9.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists on 44.4 percent field goal shooting.
Although he wasn’t a producer on offense and wasn’t the versatile defender he has been in the past, Parker still showed leadership on the court in helping out fellow teammates and rookies Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson in trying to get accustomed to the NBA life. He served as as a big brother figure to Irving, grooming him into the eventual Rookie of the Year.
Parker saw most of his success come during his tenure with the Toronto Raptors, as he averaged 11.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 steals. He shot an above-average 42.4 percent from three during those three seasons in Toronto as well.
Parker wishes to become a front office member or a basketball analyst in the future, bit for now he is going to enjoy some time off from the sport of basketball.