William Anthony Parker Jr. is a French professional basketball player and a member of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After playing in the French amateur leagues for two seasons, Parker started his professional career playing for Paris Basket Racing in France. He was drafted as the 28th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs.
In his rookie season, Parker led Spurs in assists and steals, averaging 9.2 points, 4.3 assists, and 2.6 rebounds in 29.4 minutes per game. He was named All-Rookie First Team becoming the first foreign-born guard to earn the honor. In the 2002-03 season, Parker was promoted to the started point guard. He averaged 15.5 points, 5.3 assists, and 2.6 rebounds per game. In the 2003 NBA Playoffs, Parker struggled with inconsistent play and was often benched. Led by Tim Duncan, the Spurs defeated the New Jersey Nets in 6 games, winning their first championship ring.
In the 2004-05 season, Parker finished third among point guards in field goal percentage and averaged 16.6 points, 6.1 assists and a career-high 3.7 rebounds per game. In the 2005 NBA Playoffs, Parker was instrumental in the victories over the Denver Nuggets, Seattle SuperSonics, and Phoenix Suns as the Spurs reached the 2005 NBA Finals. In the Finals, however, Parker was unable to perform well. Nevertheless, the Spurs won their third ever NBA championship by defeating the Detroit Pistons in 7 games.
In the 2007 NBA Playoffs, Parker averaged a series-high 24.5 points per game as the Spurs faced the LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers. He shot a high field goal percentage of 56.8 percent and of 57.1 percent from three-point range and consistently outplayed his Cavaliers counterparts Daniel Gibson and All-Defensive Team member Larry Hughes. For his performance, Parker was named the 2007 Finals MVP, becoming the first European-born player to receive the award, as the Spurs swept the Cavaliers to win their 4th championship ring.
In the 2008-09 NBA season, Parker scored a career-high 55 points in a winning cause against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Parker helped the Spurs win the 2014 NBA Finals by defeating the Miami Heat in 5 games, giving him his fourth and Spurs fifth championship ring. In the 2017 NBA Playoffs, Parker left game 2 of the second round with a rupture of his left quadriceps tendon that ended his season. In 2018, he signed a deal with the Charlotte Hornets. As a member of the French national team, Parker was the top scorer in the EuroBasket 2013 tournament, averaging 19 points per game. He helped the team win the gold medal game against Lithuania and was named MVP.