It’s been three years since Jodie Meeks played on an NBA court and he’s decided to call it a career. The former Los Angeles Lakers guard spent 10 seasons in the NBA and won a championship with the Toronto Raptors in 2019. Meeks recently turned 35 and announced his retirement to Steve Drumwright of USAB.com.
Over his 10-year career, the guard played for seven different teams. He’s currently a member of the USA Basketball’s Men’s AmeriCup Team but this will be the only year he plays.
Meeks had a chance to play with the late Kobe Bryant for two seasons in Los Angeles. He was eventually elevated to a starting role and started 70 games for the Lakers during the 2013-2014 season. He averaged a career-high 15.7 points a game that season.
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Meeks Explains Decision to Retire
Meeks wasn’t getting many calls from NBA teams but being able to play for USA Basketball helped check a box for him.
“You always want to have a chance to compete in the Olympics, but obviously it’s so hard to make it in America because the talent level is so high,” Meeks told Drumwright. “So this would be special for me to compete and win a gold medal.”
There are plenty of players in the NBA who are older than Meeks right now but he’s seen the writing on the wall. He knows that he doesn’t have much more left in the tank and wants to focus on other things.
“I’m young, but in basketball, I’m a little older,” Meeks said. “I’m no spring chicken anymore. But that’s OK. I can still move, I still feel like I can still play. And obviously I’m out here doing well. So for my career, it’s definitely been a good one and this will be the icing on the cake.”
Meeks Recently Said He Would Return to Lakers
Interestingly enough, Meeks found himself in the news when he made a pitch for the Lakers to sign him earlier in the offseason.
“Most definitely. I really enjoyed my two years with the Lakers, so reuniting would be something that I’d be more than happy to do,” Meeks told Wenzell Ortiz of Sideline Sources in June. “Aside from being a great locker room presence, I can clearly add shooting, and I’m also a hard-nosed defender. I can come in and give that extra effort off the bench that everybody saw they needed last season. Every team can use a shooter that can make shots for their superstars.”
Los Angeles never took up Meeks on his offer as the focus has been on getting the roster younger this offseason. The recent trade for Patrick Beverley made the need for a veteran guard even smaller. Perhaps Meeks will leave the door slightly open if a team wants to sign him but he’s done actively pursuing basketball opportunities.
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