With an assist to Tim Duncan Wednesday night, San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker etched his name into the NBA record books for good. The first quarter assist made Parker the 54th player to ever reach 5,000 assists. While 54 may seem like a large number, Parker is just the second player who was born outside of the United States of America–with the other one of being Steve Nash. Now, Parker is only 30 years old and has only missed more than 15 games in a single season one time. Parker’s eyes are definitely fixed on working his way up the to the NBA’s all time greatest.
Parker’s durability has always stuck out to me. A scrappy point guard at only 6’2″ 180lbs he has withheld all of the bumps and bruises that co-inside with an NBA career. However, unlike other guards like Chris Paul, Derrick Rose and Nash, Parker has always been able to avoid the big hit and stay healthy.
While plenty of these assists have gone to Duncan, he still has performed at a fantastic level both in regular season and postseason play. Parker is now leading all NBA guards in field goal percentage as he is shooting an amazing 51.1% during 2012-13. This is a great sign for any Spurs fan who hopes to see Parker play well into his thirties. In particular, Parker should follow right into the footsteps of Jason Kidd, who is currently playing at a high level for the New York Knicks while being 39 years old.
Hypothetically speaking, nine more seasons of similar production and Parker would rank eighth among all time assist leaders with 8,921–putting him right behind former Seattle Supersonic Gary Payton.
While, those numbers are far from permanent, it is exciting to see Parker stretching further and further into point guard elite.