Derek Fisher and 10 Players Who We Wish Would Just Retire
Some NBA players just don't know when to call it quits. Their careers have suffered from their stubbornness.
I'm not saying these players can't play the game of basketball deep into their late 30's, but their presence on a team can sometimes do more bad than good.
Older players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and John Stockton had great seasons statistically into their 40's because they could still play the game at a high level. Both men averaged double-digit point totals at the age of 41 and were leaders for their respective teams.
The guys I'm about to list for you right now are way overdue for retirement.
11. Derek Fisher
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Playing with the Los Angeles Lakers has placed Derek Fisher in a negative spotlight this season. Fans are very upset with his inability to guard younger players at his position.
Fisher is averaging 5.5 points and 3.4 assists per game as the team's ball-handler, but unfortunately that's not enough by Lakers standards. The biggest reason Fisher is being criticized so heavily is his lack of quickness on defense. Fisher has been getting burned by younger point guards and the Lakers are suffering as a whole because of his struggles.
Lakers fans owe Fisher a lot for what he has done for the team in the past during their championship era, but he's long overdue for retirement.
10. Ben Wallace
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Ben Wallace has already publicly stated this will be his last season in the NBA, but he should have made this decision years ago.
The four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year already has a ring and the Pistons are going nowhere this season at 11-24. Earlier this month, Wallace passed Avery Johnson for most games played by an undrafted player; he's an inspiration for fellow undrafted players like Jeremy Lin.
I'm happy Wallace will get to retire as a Piston instead of with some random team he plays one season for, but I think he should have done this a while back. Wallace has never been the type of player to provide a team with offense, but he's always been a monster on the glass.
Now that he's only playing 14.5 minutes per game and pulling down 3.7 rebounds, his one-dimensional game isn't needed any more.
9. Jermaine O'Neal
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Jermaine O'Neal thinks he can still play at the NBA level, but his body isn't willing to cooperate.
Last season, O'Neal was healthy enough for 24 games and this season he's missed time with a wrist injury. Even when O'Neal has been healthy, he's only managed to have a handful of good games for the Boston Celtics.
With so many injury-plagued big men on the Celtics roster, O'Neal should be the answers to Boston's prayers but he simply isn't. This has-been may want focus on his clothing line and take a break from the hardwood.
8. Kwame Brown
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I realize Kwame Brown is only 29 years old, but he's been a disappointment since day one. The former number one pick hasn't lived up to expectations and is already living out the career of a journeyman in the NBA.
Brown's only shining season was in his third year, when he averaged a career-high 10.7 points and 7.4 rebounds. Since then, his numbers have been considerably lower and he continues to bounce around with different teams.
Why teams sign him is a complete mystery to me; they pay him a handsome salary for being a below-average player. The Golden State Warriors were paying Brown $6.75 million to come off the bench and give them some type of production, but now they're paying him to sit on the bench for the rest of the season with a chest injury.
It's already way too late to say Brown will develop down the line. I think fans wish he'd retire and free up space for some of the younger players with actual talent.
7. Anthony Carter
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Anthony Carter is spending his 12th season with the Toronto Raptors backing up Jose Calderon and he plays like another aging point guard.
Carter doesn't provide teams with a spark off the bench, but he can lead a second rotation. The 36-year-old is one of the league's oldest players and he's not in a great position to win a ring right now, so retirement is starting to sound pretty good.
I think Carter is still a very capable leader, but he's an aging point guard who might have trouble with younger guards just like Fisher.
6. Jerry Stackhouse
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Jerry Stackhouse was an elite shooting guard almost a decade ago. Now he's a backup to Marvin Williams on the Atlanta Hawks.
Stackhouse had some good years with the Dallas Mavericks and the better half of his career was with the Detroit Pistons, but in the last three years, he's been a one-and-done player for teams. The 16-year veteran couldn't find a home with Miami last season and Atlanta hasn't been any better.
Stackhouse is averaging 6.3 minutes a game and just 3.2 points for the Hawks this season and I don't see him getting anymore offers after. This guy should have retired after his run with the Mavericks ended.
5. Erick Dampier
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Erick Dampier was a late addition to the Hawks this season and it turns out they're not even using him.
Through six games, Dampier has averaged just five minutes per game with Al Horford out due to injury. It's clear his age has caught up with him in his 15th season. Teams usually look to Dampier when injuries strike their team in sudden instances.
I don't see Dampier continuing his career after this season. I hope he retires instead of becoming another rental player.
4. Jamaal Magloire
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Jamaal Magloire was once an All-Star center early in his career, but now he's playing out the rest of his career as a backup with the Toronto Raptors.
Magloire is the only Canadian-born player to play with the Toronto Raptors and he's actually getting some pretty good minutes with the team this season. Magloire is averaging a little more than 12 minutes and 3.7 rebounds per game, but it's no secret his career has slowed down.
The former All-Star had his chances at a ring when he spent three seasons with the Miami Heat from 2008-2010. Now it's time he retires with the home team and starts a new chapter in his life.
3. Juwan Howard
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As the last remaining player of the Fab Five left in the NBA, Juwan Howard is probably still playing just to be the only member of that group with a ring. He's certainly on his way there playing with the Miami Heat.
Howard is averaging a measly 4.2 minutes of playing time and is almost nonexistent on offense, but he does occasionally pull down some rebounds for the Heat and play good defense. Howard seems to be pretty comfortable with his role on this team and I'm sure he's just along for the ride at this point.
I don't have a problem with Howard playing this season, as he's in the running for a ring with Miami, but this should be it afterwards. Howard doesn't contribute very much to a team anymore and if it weren't for the Heat, I'd say he was done during the 2009-2010 season.
2. Kurt Thomas
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If Kurt Thomas couldn't get a ring with the contending Chicago Bulls last season, then he must be dreaming if he thinks the Portland Trail Blazers is his ticket to the finals.
I'm convinced Thomas is the league's big man rental at this point in his career. The 39-year-old has played with five different teams in the last five seasons. Injuries to Greg Oden and Marcus Camby have forced the Trail Blazers to play Thomas way more than they had hoped.
The oldest active player in the NBA is averaging 16.3 minutes a game for the struggling Trail Blazers and contributing 3.4 points with 3.7 rebounds a game. Thomas is just a big body to clog the lane and he should have retired four seasons ago.
1. Brian Scalabrine
Chicago Bulls fans probably don't want Brian Scalabrine to retire, but the red-headed enforcer has become more of a show than a contributing player.
Scalabrine typically plays in blowout wins or losses and is a fan favorite in Chicago, but he contributes nothing statistically. In 10 seasons, Scalabrine hasn't averaged more than 21.6 minutes and has never reached double digits in any major stat category.
Watching the goofy big man late in the fourth quarter may be fun for fans, but at the end of the day he's still a 33-year-old bench warmer.