LOS ANGELES: San Antonio point guard Tony Parker believes Tim Duncan and the rest of his Spurs teammates will be back next season to seek an NBA championship repeat.
At 38, Duncan is undoubtedly in the final phase of his NBA career, but Parker expects the five-time champion to return for another campaign along with Argentinian veteran Manu Ginobili.
“I know that for Tim, winning this title was very, very emotional, particularly at this point in his career,” Parker said on a conference call on Monday. “But I think he is going to continue, just like Manu.”
The trio of Parker, Duncan and Ginobili have been together for four of the Spurs’ five NBA title runs.
The core group combined for 49 points on Sunday in a 104-87 romp that finished off two-time defending champions Miami.
With players like 22-year-old emerging star Kawhi Leonard — who was named the NBA finals Most Valuable Player — adding energy to the veteran team, the Spurs put together the best regular-season in the league.
They needed seven games to get past the eighth-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs, then ousted the Portland Trail Blazers in five games in the second round, and got past the Oklahoma City Thunder — and NBA MVP Kevin Durant — in the Western Conference finals in six games.
“It shows that we are not too old — or to anything else,” Parker said. “We are very happy, and very, very proud of this title.”