Since the calendar flipped over to 2013, five of the most influential basketball players of the 1990s and 2000s formally announced their retirement from the NBA.
First, it was Rasheed Wallace hanging up the laces for what we assume is the last time in April. Then, in a form of poetic justice, 1994 co-Rookies of the Year Grant Hill and Jason Kidd retired just days apart in June, entering the league together and then departing together. And in the past week, two of the most electrifying and star-crossed players of the past decade and a half — Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady — finally listened to their bodies and limped out of the league for good.
Never in my lifetime do I remember five such stars — all extremely unique in their games, personalities and careers — leaving the game at the same time. It’s almost a monumental retirement class, if you will, ranging from players who climbed the summit to those who have fallen far from grace.
All five of these players have left a huge impact on the crew here at The Sports Fan Journal, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t give them — these stars who entertained for more than two decades and enhanced our love for the game — their proper due.