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Wondering what Tony Parker’s legacy is as the all-time great point guard bids farewell to the NBA and professional basketball after 18 sensational seasons in the league?

It’s an easy one: The former San Antonio Spur (who spent his final season with the Charlotte Hornets) is the greatest European-born guard ever to play the game.

Let’s break that down for a minute: When I ranked the greatest foreign-born players, Parker was fifth, just behind the South African-born, Canadian-raised Steve Nash. In my opinion, he’s just ahead of the late Drazen Petrovic, the Croatian guard who died in a car accident just as he was rising up in the league. And before you say Manu Ginobili, remember that he was born in Argentina.

The thing that will stand out the most to me from his remarkable career was consistency. After his rookie season, he’d average 14 ppg or more for 13 straight seasons as a member of the Spurs, who sneakily drafted him with the 28th pick in the 2001 NBA draft. He was speedy and absurdly tough in the paint while also flashing one of the better mid-range games in the league in his prime. He’ll finish his career with a 49.1 shooting percentage, a remarkable number for a guard.

His 19,473 points are 53rd all-time, just a few hundred away from No. 50 Bernard King (a Basketball Hall of Famer). His 7,036 assists are 17th all time, ahead of Bob Cousy and a under 200 shy of HoFer Lenny Wilkens at No. 14. Add in the four rings, the 2007 Finals MVP, and this fact …

… and you realize just how good he was as the engine that ran the Spurs’ dynasty with Ginobili and Tim Duncan. It goes without saying that he’s a lock for Springfield, and to be the greatest Euro-born guard is a pretty great legacy to take with you into retirement.

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