The Tony Parker era for the Spurs may not have ended Sunday, but it may have entered its twilight era when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich started Dejounte Murray at point guard in place of a healthy Parker.
The 35-year-old Parker has started almost every game he’s played for the Spurs since 2001, helping lead them to four NBA championships. But as he’s seen with some of his Spurs’ teammates through the years, from Tim Duncan to Manu Ginobili, Father Time eventually comes calling.
“If Pop sees something that is good for the team, I will try to do my best,” Parker said. “But I will support Pop’s decision, and I will try to help DJ the best I can, and try to be the best I can in that second unit with Manu and Patty (Mills).”
Parker scored 12 points and dished out five assists in 20 minutes in a 94-86 loss to the Pacers Sunday. The 21-year-old Murray scored eight points, with seven rebounds and four assists.
Braun, the longtime franchise face, is no longer the focus of attention in Milwaukee. The Brewers spent $80 million on free agent Lorenzo Cain and traded four players to Miami for Christian Yelich, and the new arrivals adorn the cover of the team media guide. The Brewers would be happy with a healthy season from Braun, who logged an .823 OPS while missing 58 games because of calf and wrist injuries a year ago.
Braun broke into pro ball as a third baseman and has made 1,296 MLB starts in the outfield, but first base is foreign turf to him. In his Cactus League debut against the Giants, he used an outfielder’s glove at first.
“There are going to be mess-ups, no question,” said Brewers coach Pat Murphy, who is helping Braun with the move. “He’s never played first base. Never. It’s a huge transition, and there’s so much to learn. But he’ll make that transition as good as anybody in the game because of the athlete he is. He’s diligent about his game, and he will take care of business.”