Indiana Pacers point guard Darren Collison announced his retirement Friday after 10 NBA seasons that also included stops with the New Orleans Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings.
Collison, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent Sunday, confirmed the news to The Undefeated:
"Basketball has been my life since I was a child. I could never imagine finding anything that brings me more joy than I get from playing the game. While I still love basketball, I know there is something more important which is my family and my faith. I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and my faith means everything to me. I receive so much joy from volunteering to help others and participate in a worldwide ministry. The joy I feel is unmatched.
"With that being said, I have decided to retire from the NBA."
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Collison was expected to get between $10 and $12 million per year on the free-agent market.
New Orleans selected Collison out of UCLA with the 21st overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft.
The California native was named to the All-Rookie First Team but was still traded to the Pacers after just one NBA season.
He became a reliable journeyman guard who never spent more than three consecutive years with any team. He returned to Indiana as a free agent in 2017 and proceeded to spend the final two seasons of his career with the franchise.
Now 31, Collison averaged 12.5 points, 5.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals while shooting 47.1 percent from the field, including 39.4 percent from beyond the arc, in 708 regular-season appearances. He also played 40 playoff games.
His announcement mentioned a handful of players who took on a key role in his career:
"Players such as Victor Oladipo, Russell Westbrook, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James who had a major impact on me competing at the highest level. I either have a close relationship with those that I have mentioned or they inspired me to work harder. Obviously, I never have had the accolades they have. But they gave me a benchmark to work toward, and I’m truly thankful to them for that."
Collison's last NBA game was a good one: 19 points in the postseason against the Boston Celtics, but it wasn't enough to help the Pacers stave off elimination.