Shaquille O'Neal, Tracy McGrady and Other Veterans Who Should Retire
Teams would’ve been drooling over these players had they been free agents five years ago or so.
Once the stars of their era, they are now way past their prime and forgotten in the new NBA generation.
There are reasons why they are still on the market and haven’t received any substantial offers. The only offers they would get are pity veteran minimums.
For these guys, it would be better to retire on a good note rather than prolong their career any further.
Tracy McGrady, 31
He's only 31, but McGrady's an exception here.
In the summer of 2000, McGrady was like the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade of his free agency class. He was arguably the face of the Orlando Magic.
Now, teams are trying to avoid him.
Barely anyone refers to him as T-Mac anymore. At his age, he still could be effective, but he’s too stubborn to let go of his glory years and has shown some personality issues that make no one want him on their team.
His career and body are already deteriorated and have “injury-prone” written all over him.
Joe Smith, 34
Smith has been traded around the block and was a solid contributor everywhere he went, but he was never able to become the star he was with the Warriors–and that was years ago.
But he's one of those veterans willing to accept the bare minimum to join the Heat.
Kurt Thomas, 37
The veteran big man can still grab rebounds and score a little.
OK, maybe he shouldn’t retire. Other teams have shown interest in him, but he’s nearing his 40s.
I’ll give him one more year.
Kevin Ollie, 37
Given how long he's been in the league, Ollie seems to have played for almost every team in the NBA.
He just couldn’t settle with one team for more than a season. Seeing him back with the Magic and 76ers seemed like déjà vu.
Now, it’s more exciting to guess which team he’ll play for next season than to guess which team will want him.
Michael Finley, 37
The once lethal swingman said he has no interest in retiring. And the Celtics have no interest in bringing him back.
Finley became known for his sharp shooting on the Dallas Mavericks, but his name and fame slowly faded away with the Spurs and Celtics.
Jerry Stackhouse, 35
Before there was Ben Wallace, Rip Hamilton, and Chauncey Billups on the Pistons, there was Jerry Stackhouse.
But his name later got lost in the shuffle of the teams he's played for.
The veteran shooting guard still has some years left in him, but when people look at the list of free agents and see his name, they may scratch their heads, wondering which team he currently is on.
(Hint, it's the Milwaukee Bucks).
Juwan Howard, 37
Howard is the last of the Fab Five from Michigan still in the NBA.
He should’ve followed his buddies Jalen Rose and Chris Webber into retirement, but he’s determined to use his fame to hold basketball camps in Chicago. At least he’s got a good heart and selfless reason for staying in the game.
Allen Iverson, 35
Unlike McGrady, Allen Iverson has come to terms with his status on the market and is willing to accept any role that would help a team win.
After 10 years with the 76ers, he moved on to the Nuggets, bounced onto other rosters, and settled back in Philly.
Once a speed demon who could seem out of control yet at the same time offensively unstoppable, A.I. ran out of fuel and barely played in any games last year. He was never able to separate his personal life from basketball.
But he’s begging for another chance and even went as far as tweeting it.
Shaquille O’Neal, 38
It’s surprising how long Shaq has lasted in the league.
His NBA resume is outstanding, but he hit a wall last season in Cleveland.
Now is a good time to retire before he becomes the Brett Favre of basketball, in terms of age.
Besides, he seems to have found a new sidekick with Ben Stein teaming up in those Comcast commercials.