Veteran guard Darren Collison has decided to retire from the NBA after 10 seasons primarily to concentrate on helping the less fortunate through his Jehovah’s Witnesses faith, he told ESPN’s The Undefeated in a letter.
“While I still love basketball, I know there is something more important, which is my family and my faith,” Collison wrote Friday. “I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and my faith means everything to me. I receive so much joy from volunteering to help others and participate in a worldwide ministry. The joy I feel is unmatched. With that being said, I have decided to retire from the NBA.”
The 31-year-old, who has made $43 million during his NBA career, was on target to secure a $10-12 million annual salary in free agency this summer, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. But after long deliberation with agent Bill Duffy, Collison ultimately decided to retire.
Collison averaged 12.5 points and 5.0 assists in 708 games through 10 seasons. The 2010 All-NBA rookie selection played for the New Orleans Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, LA Clippers, Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers. He is one of 26 players in NBA history to average at least 10 points and 3.5 assists per game in each of his first 10 seasons.
He thanked several former teammates and NBA stars who inspired him during his career.
“I’m also appreciative of that great friendships that I have earned from my teammates, coaches, and front office personnel that I will treasure for a lifetime,” Collison wrote. “Players such as Victor Oladipo, Russell Westbrook, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James that had a major impact on me competing at the highest level. I either have a close relationship with those that I have mentioned or they inspired me to work harder.”
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