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The end of a great era in the NBA

Written by Jessica I. Contreras, Staff Writer

Within the past year, basketball fans have been continuously devastated by the retirement news from some of the greatest to play the game in the NBA. Kobe Bean Bryant announced his retirement from the league in late 2015, and that just about started the ripple effect within the few remaining greats. Title players from the same era as Bryant–such as Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce–have also announced their recent retirements.

Tim Duncan played with the San Antonio Spurs where he took on the NBA championship and Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named Rookie Player of the Year in 1998 and one of the few to play with the same team for 19 seasons. However, he stayed true to his character throughout his entire career. He was always a humble individual, teammate, and opponent. He remained within his character in everything he did; especially when he announced his retirement through the San Antonio Spurs website.
 

Kevin Garnett announced his retirement with the Minnesota Timberwolves after being the first player in two decades to be drafted into the NBA directly out of high school. He is also one of the few to remain with the same team throughout his career. After playing 21 seasons, Garnett was just one season short of having the longest number of seasons in the NBA. He also participated in the 1998 All-Star Game with Kobe Bryant as first-time rookies. They started off as fresh meat and closed their seasons as veterans and stars of the show. Doc Rivers, one of his former coaches, marked his announcement by saying he “doesn’t want to play” anymore; specifically because he questioned his reasons for playing in the NBA. Alongside with Garnett was Paul Pierce. They were a dynamic duo when they played for the Boston Celtics during the intense rivalry with the Lakers.

 

Paul Pierce announced his retirement through The Players’ Tribune. He played for the Boston Celtics and won both an NBA Championship and the Finals MVP in the 2007-2008 season. He is now with the Los Angeles Clippers, in the city he grew up in, and announced that this upcoming season will be his last. Pierce told The Players’ Tribune that this is his “time to move on from the game of basketball,” and adds on that he’s “at peace with retiring, but [he’s] got one more ride left.”

 
Many of the players retiring have made an impact and created some of the greatest memories for the NBA in the 2000s. They played the game like no one has in this era, and it will not be the same without them. But, how is it that all these players decided to close their chapters around the same time as each other? Are they making room for incoming rookies, or will they be returning as rookie Coaches for some of the best teams? No one has specifically focused on this aspect but one thing is for certain: they will be missed.
Photo source: Google Images
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