HANG TIME NEW JERSEY BUREAU — Monday brought the end to two great NBA careers.
Antonio McDyess and Peja Stojakovic are both hanging up their sneakers, and both are going out knowing they’ve still got a little bit of game left.
Stojakovic went out on top, winning a title with the Mavericks last season. He played his part too, hitting 29 threes in the playoffs. That included a ridiculous 6-for-6 performance from downtown in Game 4 against the Lakers. Before retiring, Stojakovic ranked 27th among active players with 13,647 career points and fourth all-time (behind only Ray Allen, Reggie Miller and Jason Kidd) with 1,760 3-pointers.
ESPN.com’s Marc Stein has the story…
The three-time All-Star told ESPN.com on Monday that the physical toll involved in playing after a string of back and neck troubles, at age 34, convinced him that “it’s time” to step away from the game despite interest from a handful of contenders in signing the sharpshooter away from the Mavericks.
“When you start competing against your body more than you’re preparing for the actual game,” Stojakovic said, “it’s a wakeup call.”
Stojakovic does have the privilege of leaving the sport after nearly 20 years as a pro on an unquestioned high, thanks to some standout moments during the maiden title run in Mavericks history.
McDyess ranked 35th among active players with 12,227 career points in 15 seasons. He never got his ring though. McDyess joined the Pistons right after they won the championship in 2004 and joined the Spurs two years after their last title.
McDyess was under contract with San Antonio for this season, but his deal was partially guaranteed. The Spurs had hoped to bring him back, but they couldn’t convince him to play another year. So they waived him on Monday.
Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News gives us the details…
The teams acknowledged that McDyess won’t be back, and the club will get to remove $2.6 million, the non=guaranteed portion of his contract, off its player payroll for the 2011-12 season.
McDyess, a former All-Star and an Olympic gold medal winner i n 2000, started all six playoff games last season. After the Game 6 loss in Memphis that ended the playoff run of the No. 1 seeded team in the Western Conference he made it clear to the Express-News that he intended to retire after 16 seasons.