The Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv Basketball club salutes Anthony Parker – one of the greatest players ever to wear the yellow and blue, and one of the most exceptional that European basketball has ever seen – who announced this evening that at age 37 he is retiring from basketball.
Anthony Parker captured the imagination of every basketball fan, especially the fans of Maccabi Tel Aviv, with his amazing, almost super-human mid-air displays, with his athleticism, his virtuosity and his passion for winning. In addition to his ability on the court, Parker possesses an uncommon personality, both dignified and calmly confident and with a smile that melts hearts. In no time at all Parker became a part of the Maccabi family, playing an impressive role in the marvelous Maccabi dynasty of the 2000s.
Although he stands only 1.98 meters tall, Parker performed dazzling leaps and unforgettable dunks at Nokia Arena and throughout Europe, along with heroic game-winning shots, and drew inevitable comparisons to Michael Jordan; indeed he was dubbed “Air Parker.” His on-court ability and his off-court demeanor earned the man who wore number 8 in yellow a place in the hearts of everyone connected to Maccabi Tel Aviv – fans, players, professional staff and management.
Parker played with Maccabi for a total of five seasons: from 2000 – 2002, and 2003 – 2006. In those five seasons with Maccabi Parker won five Israeli Championships, five Israeli Cups, and three European Championships (2001, 2004, and 2005). In each of his five seasons with the club, Maccabi reached the European Final Four (and reached the Final four times). He was twice selected Euroleague MVP of the Season (2005, 2006), and was named the MVP of the Euroleague Final Four in 2004.
Parker owns the best career index of all time in the Euroleague with an average of 21.4 index points. He completed his Euroleague career (90 games) with impressive averages of 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.6 steals, while compiling excellent shooting percentages from every range – 56% from two, 41% from three, and 82% from the foul line. The Euroleague named Parker one of the fifty best basketball players in Europe, and to the All-Euroleague First Team of the Decade for the 2000s.
Parker holds sixth place in the pantheon of all-time top scorers for Maccabi in Europe with 1,804 points, just ahead of his former teammates Derrick Sharp (seventh place) and Nikola Vujčić (eighth place). In the summer of 2006, after having scaled every available height in Europe with Maccabi, Parker returned to the NBA where he enjoyed six very successful seasons, three with the Toronto Raptors and three with the Cleveland Cavaliers. With his transition to the best basketball league in the world, Parker chose to wear jersey number 18, a highly significant number in Jewish numerology signifying life, in honor of the great respect he has for Israel.
Anthony Parker’s outstanding contribution and his noble spirit will never be forgotten; he is a marvelous part of the legacy of the Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv Basketball Club.
On this momentous day we would like to wish Anthony, from the bottom of our hearts, great success in his future endeavors.