After a decade in the league, Darren Collison is calling it a career.
“Basketball has been my life since I was a child,” Collison wrote in The Undefeated. “I could never imagine finding anything that brings me more joy than I get from playing the game. While I still love basketball, I know there is something more important which is my family and my faith. 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 Los Angeles-area native was selected by the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the 2009 NBA draft. He played for five teams during his time in the league, including the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings and two stints with the Indiana Pacers. He averaged 12.5 points and five assists throughout his career.
Collison spent the last two seasons in Indiana, and averaged 11.2 points and six assists. He averaged more than 28 minutes per game and started in every contest he appeared in last season, too.
The 31-year-old had wrapped up the second year of his two-year, $20 million deal with the Pacers, and was set to become a free agent this summer. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Collison was on track to make up to $12 million per year on the free agent market.
Instead, the former UCLA standout is stepping away from the game entirely.
“Obviously, when you love the game of basketball like I do, you focus more on that and can’t do everything else you want for good reason,” Collison wrote in The Undefeated. “I have always felt the need to do more to help others; that’s why it is so important to try and help out as much as possible … To all of you, I would like to say thank you for the countless years of support. Thank you for respecting my decision.”
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