A persistent right knee injury caused Sacramento Kings 12-year veteran forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim to announce his retirement yesterday.
The third overall draft pick in 1996 by the Vancouver Grizzlies, Abdur-Rahim was the team's star for the first five years of his career. He was a member of the 2000 gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic team in Sydney, and of the 2002 Eastern Conference All-Stars as a member of the Atlanta Hawks. Unfortunately, he was only able to participate in six games for the Kings last year, averaging less than two points per game.
He concludes his career with lifetime averages of 18.1 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 2.5 APG, with only one season's worth of playoff experience (six games with the Kings in '06) to his name.
"If I let myself get hung up on doing things that had any actual chance of success, I'd never do anything!"
He either never lived up to the billing of a true second banana or never found the right team where he could play third banana. He played in a lot of small markets, but I still always expected more out of him.
The Thunder got Kevin Martin in return; I wouldn't call that a bad trade, necessarily. Although he's obviously much older than Harden (and I can't believe I'm calling someone a year younger than I am, "an old guy").