San Antonio Spurs guard T.J. Ford is retiring from the NBA, effective immediately, because of a series of head and neck injuries.
Ford, 28, has had a series of injuries over the years, including a stinger on March 7 in a game against the New York Knicks. He joined the Spurs on Dec. 10, appearing in 14 games.
“I’ve been avoiding doctors’ orders for years and dodging a lot of bullets,” Ford said of the stinger, via SpursNation.com. “This isn’t the first time I’ve laid down on the court and not had the strength to really move. I’m just trying to get out while I still have a chance. When you are laying down there, you don’t know what the next outcome is going to be.”
Ford announced his retirement on Twitter and, in a statement released by the team, said: “While this was a tough decision to make, it is what is best for me and my family at this time. Regardless of what the future holds, I will carry the experiences, the friendships and the memories with me forever.”
It's official " I Retire from the NBA " as of today— TJ Ford (@tj_ford) March 12, 2012
Thanks to all my fans who follow my career since a kid from all over the world. Basketball has been great to me & my family for 28yrs— TJ Ford (@tj_ford) March 12, 2012
Ford was the eighth pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2003 NBA Draft, but missed half of his rookie season after suffering a spinal injury and having surgery. In addition to the Bucks and Spurs, he also played for the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers.