By Kalyn Albers, Staff Writer
It was May 3, 2017 and game two of the San Antonio Spurs semi-final game against the Houston Rockets. I watched as Tony Parker went down with a non-contact injury that lead to having his teammates carry him off the court. I remember being heartbroken watching him fall to the floor only a couple minutes in the fourth quarter attempting his teardrop shot. I sat there with my mouth dropped to the floor in disbelief.
It was announced that he underwent an MRI examination the next morning this revealed that Parker suffered a ruptured left quadriceps tendon. I thought he was done for good. It was announced that same day that he would miss the remainder of the 2017 NBA Playoffs and had no timetable set for a possible return to basketball.
I thought to myself how could Tony Parker possibly return from such a horrible injury at the age of 35? I also had hopes deep in the back of my mind because this team has been through a lot and has remarkable recovery stories. Considering his age and the severity of the injury though, it seemed like he wouldn’t be returning as the starting point guard for the San Antonio Spurs and that his historic career might come to a close in a gruesome manner.
Summer and the beginning of the season Parker worked hard to make sure he would make a comeback for the 2017-2018 NBA season, and all that work paid off because he did in fact comeback. After a seven-month rehab session his first time seen on court he looked energetic and had control of the offense. Gregg Popovich, head coach for the spurs made it clear that he wasn’t going to play Parker for too long anticipating to ease him back in to the game. Parker on Nov. 28, 2017 after seven months of no action he had 14 minutes of action on the court against the Dallas Mavericks.
Parker showed fans that he didn’t miss a beat and came out on the court almost like he never left, he hit layups, and one of his famous mid-range jumpers that Spurs fans have been obsessing over ever since we first saw him play in the 2001 season.
Early in the night he was getting the offense going and in return dominated the front court in the win against the Dallas Mavericks. With the help from his teammates the transition back to playing was an easy one. Pau Gasol had a total of 25 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 33 points as well.
Parker was able to push through and wear that number nine jersey rather than a blazer, and man was it great to see. You could tell that there was a lot of emotion in the way Parker was playing and the amount of love from Spurs fans. Welcome back Tony Parker and I know I can’t wait to see what this team has in store now that he is back.