It's a bit long but it was really worth my read... Not sure if any of you saw this already just wanted to post it
"There are times in life that a new road presents itself and it appears this time has come for me now. I am so proud of what I have accomplished these past 15 years playing in the NBA. It was a dream entering the league as I just turned 18 years old. I worked hard and poured my heart and soul into this game. I consider myself a student of the game as I have watched, studied and played with and agai
nst the best players in the world. The NBA was my University and I learned so much. The gratitude I feel is really immeasurable. I have experienced the best moments a player can experience and have had some dark ones too. Both equally important in helping shape me into the man I am today.
As I leave the league for now, there have been so many profound people who inspired me along my way. I have to say thank you for guiding me and having an enormous influence on the way I played basketball. Isaiah Thomas, Rich Devos, Leslie Alexander and John Gabriel, you believed in me and I thank you. Jeff Van Gundy, you exemplified the brilliance of what a great coach is. Steven A. Smith, you gave us players a voice and for that I thank you. Doug Christy, Charles Oakley, Dee Brown, Mugsy Bogues, Antonio Davis, Dell Curry, Kevin Willis, you all showed a young kid from Auburndale Florida how to be a better player. Kobe, you made me work harder and it was an honor to play against you. And Yao, we shared an experience together that will always be with me, thank you. Sonny & Pam Vaccarro showed me how there is loyalty and genuine friendship in this business. Arn Tellem and Tim Hoy, 15 years and you are still my agents. Thank you for guiding me throughout my career. When all is said and done, there is so many that made an impact on my life. I am one blessed man to have the love and never ending support of my wife CleRenda and the best 4 kids a man can ask for. But most important, I give glory and thanks to God. It is thru Him that I have been so blessed and I am forever thankful.
As I enter this next chapter, I am excited to play for Qingdao Eagles in China. I have been to China several times in the last few years and I love the people and the country. It will be an honor to play for them. Thank you to every fan that has followed me and believed in me. Injuries and all, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I am proud of the mark I left on this game and am grateful to have been a part this league. It was a dream to play in front of all of you, each night, in every stadium. Thank you."
Wish he could've stayed in the NBA longer but still wish him best of luck in China..
Well I guess this is the end of his NBA career. This is really sad for me. I remember when I was little I used to always pretend to be T-Mac, Kobe, and Michael Jordan playing against Allen Iverson, Chris Webber, and Mike Bibby (lol don't ask) on my mini hoop. It's amazing to me that all of those guys aside from Kobe are essentially done in terms of their NBA relevance. Even Kobe has said he's retiring after he turns 35. It is truly becoming the end of an era of basketball that many of us grew up in. Shaq is gone, T-Mac's gone, MJ's gone, Kobe's 34 years old. I am excited for the new youngsters that are up and coming stars in today's game (Rose, Westbrook, Griffin etc.) and I wish them the best of luck, but the players exiting the game these past few years really have a special plcae in my heart. Sorry if this post sounds too sentimental but it really is difficult for me to watch my childhood heroes fade away. I'm never forgetting watching those T-Mac vs. Kobe battles for the scoring title back in the day. I'm sure these new young players will be great for the league, but they will never replace the players I idolized for so many years.
Sad ending for a guy that in the early 2000, people were saying was better than Kobe...Dude was so dominant during a 8 year span..That it might be good enough to get him in the Hall of Fame on his 3rd try...I doubt he gets in the 1st or 2nd try..But voters will remember how great he was and decide he belongs with the greats.....
*2 Time All NBA 1st Team
*3 Time All NBA 2nd Team
*2 Time All NBA 3rd Team
*2 Time NBA Leading Scorer
* 7 Time All Star
* Career Averages of 19 pts/4assts/5rbs...Had a career high of 62 pts in a game against Washington in 2004.....
You can make a case for him being 1 of the top 10 shooting guards of All Time.....