Let’s face it: Players aren’t great forever and it’s very rare players retire while they’re still great.
Usually a player leaves a sport with an injury or when no one will offer them a job. Some of our favorite athletes were forced into retirement while last being seen carted off a field, sitting at the end of a bench or being knocked out by no-name boxers.
I’m sure we all have memories of our favorite athlete playing his last game, playing his last round or fighting his last fight and I’m sure it was a sad moment for you. This slideshow will highlight five players that might just be nearing that time in their careers where you wonder when or if they might hang it up.
Agree or disagree, you can’t deny that they aren’t the same players we once saw.
It might not show up too much in his stats but Kevin Garnett is not the same athlete he once was when he first got traded to the Celtics. He hasn’t fallen off as bad as his teammate Jermaine O'Neal has, but for KG standards it just isn’t cutting it.
He was exposed in the playoffs this year when it was obvious that he couldn’t move, jump and play defense like he used to. Garnett will always be a fierce competitor and give it his all, but his all is starting to be mediocre.
It has been a long road for Tiger Woods the last couple of years—injury, divorce, injury again all while watching his world ranking and his skills decline.
I might be alone when I say that I feel sorry for him.
He was arguably the most dominant player playing any sport this decade and now he is the player missing the cut at the 2011 PGA Championships while finishing tied in 116th place with a score of plus-10.
It might get better for this once-dominant player, but it will never be what it once was.
I don’t think anybody expected Randy Moss to fall off as bad as he did last year. This is a player who just had almost 1,500 yards and 23 touchdowns in the 2007-2008 season and then a very respectable 2,272 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns combined the following two years.
After that, he couldn’t even reach 400 yards in a full season, which lead to his retirement.
A guy who has said he plays when he wants didn’t give much effort in his final year—if it is indeed his final year.
I shouldn’t hold it against the guy who plays for a bad team, but there is no denying he has lost some ability. Carlos Lee has never been known to hitting for average but he hit .246 in 2011 and .263 so far this year after hitting over .300 from 2006-2009.
In the past you could count on Lee to get you over 20 home runs each year but this year he would be lucky to hit 15. His RBI numbers have declined the last couple of years, too, but I can’t give him total blame for that since he actually needs players to get on base for that.
Let me start by saying maybe Derek Jeter should go under “losing it” list and not the “lost it” list—he is still better than half the shortstops in the majors.
With that being said, the core meaning is still the same and he’s not the same player he once was. With Jeter getting up in age, it’s obvious that his best years are behind him.
By the numbers, Jeter has hit well below his career average the last two years. His home runs, stolen bases and even his fielding percentage have gone downward. First-ballot Hall-of-Famer, but what made him that is long gone.
There’s no denying the greatness that some of these players have shown in their sports. It takes much skill to play the games they played for how long they have. Most players wish they had the careers (and money) these players on the list had. They also realize that all these players are closer to retirement than they are closer to their prime.
Let’s just hope none of them go out like Brett Favre and “retire” multiple times.
I’m sure there are other players out there that could be placed on the list, and I’m sure people will have problems with the players that are on the list.
Either way, leave a comment and let it be heard.