Now, the story can be told.

As the San Antonio Spurs is about to retire Tony Parker’s jersey tonight, there have been reports that the 6-foot-2 guard from France was set to be picked by the Boston Celtics, per Mike Monroe of The Athletic report.

The Celtics were set to get the unknown guard from France – and Parker himself was ready to don the green and white in the 2001 NBA Draft, per NBC Sports article. The draft class includes close pal Pau Gasol, Tyson Chandler, Joe Johnson, Zach Randolph, Gerald Wallace, Gilbert Arenas, Mehmet Okur and the infamous selection of Kwame Brown as the top overall pick.

"I remember the lady from the NBA coming to get me,” Parker shared. “She came to get me and said, ‘OK, you’re going to be the next one. They’re going to draft you, 19 or 21, something like that."

But he heard a different name when the Celtics were on the board with their 21st pick.

The lady went to him and asked him to go back to his seat and she doesn’t know what happened to the cue that was given to her.

Legendary coach Red Auerbach’s intervention made it happen, according to the article that was later confirmed by NBA executives. Auerbach insisted that the team pick the 6-foot-4 North Carolina Tar Heel shooting guard Jason Forte with the 21st pick.

An executive also told The Athletic writer that the decision not to select Parker can be attributed to the former Celtics President not being convinced about the capability of European guards during that time, leaving then team’s general manager Chris Wallace no choice but to go with Forte.

Should the plan to team up Parker with resident star Paul Pierce materialized, Boston wouldn’t have waited five more years to get a star point guard in Rajon Rondo. Coincidentally, Parker went on to win his third NBA title with San Antonio Spurs the same year where the Celtics drafted the 6-foot-1 guard from the University of Kentucky in 2006.

Boston, bannered by Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Pierce and Rondo, would win the NBA championship the following year while Parker and the Spurs were dethroned by eventual runner-up Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals.

San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker makes a shot while being defended by Cleveland Cavaliers' Sasha Pavlovic in the 2007 NBA FInals. Image Reuters