Peja Stojakovic Retires: Veteran Sharpshooter Gracefully Bows out of NBA

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterDecember 19, 2011

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 07:  Peja Stojakovic #16 of the Dallas Mavericks walks off the court after the Mavs beat the Miami Heat in Game Four of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center on June 7, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Mavericks won 86-83. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The demands of another grueling NBA season would have been too much for Peja Stojakovic who has decided to retire after 13 seasons. 

ESPN's Marc Stein reported on Monday Stojakovic would bring a fine career to an end after neck and back issues became to troublesome. The three-time All-Star will surely be missed and so will his jump shot. 

It's always hard to move on, especially when you have flourished as Stojakovic has. It should be commended that he decided to take the honorable exit, and finish with his head held very much high. 

There is no question that Stojakovic was one of the best pure shooters in the last decade, and his talents were a major part of the exciting Sacramento Kings teams of the early 2000's. 

Clearly, there was nothing more to play for in what was a fruitful career. Injuries began to take their toll on the 34-year-old body that had 13 years worth of NBA mileage on it. 

Stojakovic told ESPN the following: 

When you start competing against your body more than you're preparing for the actual game, it's a wakeup call.

Not many players can walk away from the game with such aplomb as he can. Not only did Stojakovic find that elusive championship ring with the Dallas Mavericks, he played a crucial role in the dismantling of the LA Lakers in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. 

After joining the Mavericks at midseason last year, he proved that he had just enough left in the gas tank to give his new team a vital lift. 

Stojakovic may take with him a 17 point per game average, a championship ring and three All-Star nods, but more importantly, he will take the knowledge that he gave the sport his all for 13 seasons. 

For that, he is rewarded with the stamp as one of the best pure shooters in the game.