Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili each have signed contracts with the San Antonio Spurs for less than they would likely receive on the open market.
The Spurs have had those three players as their core for a decade and have successfully been able to reload their supporting cast.
"Everybody asks me that," Parker said Thursday. "I was talking with a couple of my friends and they were asking that. I was like, I don't know. I think it's just the atmosphere here, the family atmosphere. For me personally, why I did it was because, deep down in my heart I know Pop will take care of me until the end of my career. So that's why I felt like I can take less now and help the team out. And we were able to sign Danny [Green] and Boris [Diaw]. And I know when I get a little bit older, I know Pop will take care of me. I really feel that."
The Thunder were unable to keep their core together as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook signed max contracts, and Sam Presti was unable to agree on terms with James Harden.
"On the one hand, you can take less money like I did, like what Manu did, and stay with a winning team," Parker said. "Or you can do your own thing and be your own man, like [Tracy] McGrady, and try to be a superstar and want to make the All-Star team, and [Harden] decided to do that. I wish him luck. Both ways, you can't go wrong. It depends who you want to be.
"A lot of people ask me, 'How are you so successful in San Antonio?' Because, I say, we did a lot of sacrifice. When you look at Manu, Manu did a lot of sacrifice to stay here. I did the same thing. Sometimes when you want to win championships, you have to do that."