Channing Frye Announces NBA Retirement After Nearly 13 Years in League

Megan ArmstrongContributor IMarch 1, 2019

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Channing Frye (9) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Cleveland Cavaliers are set to miss the playoffs at 15-47, and center Channing Frye sees no reason to delay addressing what his plans are once the Cavs' season ends.

Frye, in his 13th NBA season, confirmed on Friday afternoon that he will retire. "Yes, I am really retiring," the 35-year-old tweeted. "It's been an amazing ride. I've had the chance to have some amazing teammates and play for some great coaches. I'm gonna miss it but I'm super excited to see the other side of the fence!"

The official announcement comes hours after Frye hinted at retirement in an Instagram post reminiscing on his time in the league—specifically playing at Madison Square Garden "for the last time" Thursday night against the Knicks, the team that drafted him No. 8 overall in 2005 out of Arizona.

Frye stayed in New York until the Knicks traded him in June 2007 along with Steve Francis to the Portland Trail Blazers, where Frye played through 2009. From 2009 to 2014, Frye played 304 games for the Phoenix Suns and saw career-highs in points per game since he averaged 12.3 points per game as a rookie.

Frye was a member of the Cavaliers team that won the 2016 NBA Finals, the franchise's and Frye's only championship. His time in Cleveland since 2015 has been broken up by one-season stints with the Orlando Magic (2015-16) and the Los Angeles Lakers (2017-18).

He is clearly beloved in and around the league. Washington Wizards forward Jeff Green commented on Frye's Instagram post, "Nooooooo don't retire bro..." Frye replied that "it's time," and Green sent back three crying emojis.

A Cavs fan tweeted that Frye "should never have to buy a drink or meal in Cleveland ever again," which Frye jokingly accepted.

Channing Frye @Channing_Frye

If that’s the case I’m never leaving! #free99 https://t.co/G37Is1fAek

This season, Frye has appeared in 29 games (five starts)—averaging a career-low 3.3 points per game and 1.5 rebounds per game.