Indiana Pacers Darren Collison Announces Surprise Retirement From the NBA: After a decade in the league playing for five different teams, 31-year-old Darren Collison is officially retiring from the NBA. The former Indiana Pacers guard announced his retirement in a letter posted in The Undefeated on Friday night so he can focus on life after basketball, most importantly his faith and his family.
The Los Angeles-area native was selected by the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the 2009 NBA draft. He played for five teams during his time in the league, including the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings and two stints with the Indiana Pacers. He averaged 12.5 points and five assists throughout his career.
Collison spent the last two seasons in Indiana and averaged 11.2 points and six assists. He averaged more than 28 minutes per game and started in every contest he appeared in last season, too.
The 31-year-old had wrapped up the second year of his two-year, $20 million deal with the Pacers, and was set to become a free agent this summer.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Collison was on track to make up to $12 million per year on the free agent market. Instead, the former UCLA standout is stepping away from the game entirely.
Collison was a meaningful contributor to the Indiana Pacers over the past two seasons. Beyond the aforementioned league-leading outside shooting he provided in 2017-18, he also led the league in assist-turnover ratio. He was always a steady hand on the offensive end of the floor.
Collison wrote in The Undefeated, “Obviously, when you love the game of basketball as I do, you focus more on that and can’t do everything else you want for good reason, I have always felt the need to do more to help others; that’s why it is so important to try and help out as much as possible … To all of you, I would like to say thank you for the countless years of support. Thank you for respecting my decision.”
Because he is skilled as a shooter and caretaker, he appeared likely to pull-in another eight-figure contract this summer if he continued playing basketball. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweeted that the Pacers guard “was on target to secure a $10M-$12M annual salary in free agency.”