Tony Parker Says Duncan, Ginobili Will Return

Tim Duncan has said on multiple occasions over the last two months that he hasn’t decided whether to return for 2014/15, but Tony Parker tells Christophe Brouet of the French website Basket-Infos that he knows that Duncan and Manu Ginobili will play next season (translation via HoopsHype). Ginobili said recently that he’s “pretty sure” he’ll continue his NBA career for another year, so Parker’s statement looks like a reiteration of that.

Parker prefaces his remark by mentioning that Duncan and Ginobili are under contract for next season, so while the point guard is no doubt close to his long-time teammates, he could merely be making an assumption based on their deals with the Spurs. Still, Duncan has a player option for next season, so that’s led to inherent uncertainty. Parker may also merely be attempting to encourage Duncan and Ginobili to return. Gregg Popovich suggested nearly a year ago that he’d retire from coaching whenever Duncan does, so the Big Fundamental’s decision could have an earth-shattering effect on Parker and the rest of the Spurs.

Duncan turns 38 in three weeks, while Ginobili will be 37 in July. Both remain productive players, and the Spurs are as strong as ever, having compiled the league’s best record this season and a 19-game winning streak that ended Thursday night against the Thunder. Parker, Duncan and Ginobili have been teammates since the 2002/03 season, though Parker, who’ll turn 32 in May, is the youngest of the trio by far, and he recently said he plans to play five or six more seasons in the NBA.

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