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Tony Parker Clears The Air That He Didn't Make Kawhi Leave San Antonio Since No One Blamed Him For That

New Orleans Pelicans v San Antonio Spurs

[ESPN] – ‘Parker regrets how that played out and finds it “unbelievable” some fans thought the comments played a role in Leonard’s desire to leave San Antonio.

“If people think that, then they’re really wrong,” Parker says, addressing the situation publicly for the first time. “Because I’m definitely not the reason. I was saying that in a positive way. The sad thing is everybody ran with this and put me as the bad guy, and I had no problem playing with Kawhi.

“I loved playing with him. I’m kind of the one who passed him the torch because it was kind of my team between 2008 and 2015, and I passed the torch to him.

I absolutely love this move. It’s pretty much out of nowhere since no one was really blaming Tony Parker for Kawhi leaving the Spurs. Did he have some weird comments? For sure. But he wasn’t the reason that Kawhi left.

I mean there was the weird relationship with Pop last year. There was the whole situation with the doctors and rehabbing. Did Parker return from a similar injury quicker? Absolutely. But, that’s Tony Parker finishing his career essentially.

But this move? Phenomenal. Control the story before it controls you (a year later). That’s just A+ public relations. I mean what if someone blamed Tony Parker? Guess what, you can’t now. He already said it wasn’t his fault.

I also love him making sure that everyone knew that the team was his from 2008-15. That’s such a long run while Tim Duncan was still there. Listen, I love Tony Parker. He was one of my favorite players to watch with his ability to finish in the lane and at the rim without having some ridiculous athleticism. He had that floater and little drop step move. It was great to watch.

But, this was always sort of Parker. He seemed a bit weird as a locker room guy – shout out Brent Barry. Just know that he isn’t the reason that Kawhi left. Both guys are gone from San Antonio now with Parker in Charlotte and Kawhi in Toronto. The story on Parker is pretty good as it talks about how important San Antonio was to him. He’s a legacy there for sure and part of that core that will go down as one of the best in any of sports.