Kobe Bryant’s Cameo in Tony Parker’s Netflix Documentary Shows His Admiration for the Spurs Legend

Published 01/08/2021, 5:30 AM EST


Former San Antonio Spurs’ point guard Tony Parker had one of the most decorated careers ever. After the colossal success of The Last Dance, Netflix recently released a documentary named ‘Tony Parker: The Final Shot’ to celebrate the legendary point guard. This documentary features multiple NBA legends who give a deeper insight into Parker’s career. These included the late Kobe Bryant, coach Gregg Popovich, Bruce Bowen, and even former teammate, Tim Duncan.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Kobe opened up about Tony Parker’s growth in the initial years of his career. He said:

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“I remember games where Tony had a really, really short leash. He makes one mistake, Pop’s gonna pull him out of the game. So I would tell Tony, ‘you know what I’m gonna trap you cause. If you dribble the ball off your foot, you turn the ball over and you are out of the game.’… I think that kind of pressure and environment helped Tony develop and play in those pressure situations. I think it was the 2003 series. In 2003 I think that’s when things clicked in for him and he became very, very difficult for us to handle him. I think his game became well-rounded. I think he had a pretty good handle, the one offensively Pop wanted from him.”

When the Spurs picked Parker with the 28th pick of the 2001 draft, not much was expected of the French man. A year later, he was the starting point guard for a championship side.

Tony Parker against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in the 2003 playoffs

The San Antonio Spurs were facing off against the champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, in the 2003 Western Conference semifinals. The Lakers were coming off of a three-peat and were led by the dynamic duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

Tim Duncan led the Spurs but needed another player to support him. 21-year-old Tony Parker was up for that task and emerged as the second star for the team.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Despite being one of the youngest players on the court, Parker showed the poise of a veteran and was a menacing presence for the Lakers. While Duncan put up a performance of his life, Parker was the perfect complimentary piece the Spurs needed.

The Spurs defeated the Lakers in six games and advanced to the Conference finals. They eventually won the 2003 championship against the New Jersey Nets, and Tony Parker became the first French man to win the NBA.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aditya Mohapatra

879 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT