DeShawn Stevenson Retires: Latest Comments and Reaction

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 24:  DeShawn Stevenson #92 of the Atlanta Hawks drives to the basket during the Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Indiana Pacers and the Atlanta Hawks on April 24, 2013 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: 2013 NBAE  (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

More than three years after he played his last NBA game, DeShawn Stevenson has formally announced his retirement.

Stevenson spoke to Chris Haynes of ESPN.com about the decision Monday, saying he'd held out hope for one more NBA season but was ready to call it quits. 

"I'm happy with where I'm at and proud of what I gave to the game. It's time to move on," he said. 

The 35-year-old last played for the Atlanta Hawks in the 2012-13 season. He played for six teams across a 13-year career, averaging 7.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists. Drafted 23rd overall by the Utah Jazz in 2000, he was part of the prep-to-pro generation that eventually led to the NBA establishing a one-and-done rule.

Stevenson never became a star, but he spent the majority of his career as a starter who could bring some athleticism and ability to stretch the floor from the 2 spot. His best statistical seasons were with the Washington Wizards in 2006-07 and 2007-08, when he started all 82 games while scoring in double figures.

Stevenson was also renowned for his feisty nature, including a rivalry with LeBron James. He and James had a chippy relationship during the Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers playoff series of the mid-2000s, with the former playing the antagonist. He publicly called James "overrated" at a point when criticism of his playoff performance was cresting, something that seems impossible now but made major headlines at the time.

James famously said any response from him to Stevenson would be like Jay-Z engaging in beef with Soulja Boy. History wound up proving James right; he's unquestionably one of the half-dozen greatest players in NBA history, coming off finally bringing a championship to Cleveland. But it was Stevenson who had the first laugh as part of the 2011 Dallas Mavericks team that defeated James and Co. during his first season with the Miami Heat.

Stevenson even tried to latch on with the Heat during James' tenure, though he was not signed.


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