Darren Collison, a 10-year veteran of the NBA who played with five different franchises, announced his retirement from the league on Friday.
“Basketball has been my life since I was a child. 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,” he wrote. “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.”
Collison said he felt the need to do more to help others, which is why he decided to ultimately step away. He thanked everyone from his agent to his parents and mentioned all the superstar players he played alongside and formed friendships with during his decade in the NBA. The list is impressive with names like Victor Oladipo, Russell Westbrook, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and LeBron James.
“Obviously, I never have had the accolades they have. But they gave me a benchmark to work towards, and I’m truly thankful to them for that,” he wrote.
The biggest thanks from Collison, however, was addressed to his wife, Ketosha.
“She has guided our family through everything you could imagine during the many NBA seasons. From the amount of moves that we’ve made, the day-to-day challenges we faced and all the while dealt with the emotions of an up and down season. She is our strength,” Collison wrote.
Collison played with the New Orleans Hornets, Indiana Pacers, Dallas Mavericks, LA Clippers and Sacramento Kings. He averaged 12.5 points and 5.0 assists.
Following the announcement, ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski said the point guard was on target to “secure a $10M-$12 million annual salary in free agency.” Collison made $43 million during his NBA career.
Collison played his college ball at UCLA, where he was a two-time All-Pac-10 selection and a third team All-American. He was drafted by the Hornets with the 21st overall pick in the 2009 draft. He made the All-Rookie first team in 2010, but was never an All-Star.
However, he always had a solid role wherever he was. Collison averaged 29.4 minutes per game in his career. He played in 708 games.