PHOENIX - DECEMBER 03: T.J. Ford #5 of the Indiana Pacers puts up a shot over Channing Frye #8 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on December 3 2010 in Phoenix Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Former Indiana Pacers point guard T.J. Ford will sit out the remainder of the season with the San Antonio Spurs, but according to Ford he plans to retire after hitting the deck and receiving a "neck stinger" last week while playing the New York Knicks.
"While this was a tough decision to make, it is what is best for me and my family at this time," said Ford in a release. "I have been blessed to play alongside wonderful teammates for great coaches and organizations from high school, to college, to the NBA. Regardless of what the future holds, I will carry the experiences, the friendships and the memories with me forever. The support I've received from family, friends and the fans has been humbling and I am looking forward to evaluating my professional options following this season."
Ford has been hampered by neck and spine issues throughout his NBA career, the result of a relatively little man always on the attack and taking the ball in the lane. Ford came to the Pacers as part of the trade that moved Jermaine O'Neal out of town, but was never a good fit with coach Jim O'Brien.
Ford found himself in a good position with the Spurs this season but a hamstring injury has kept him from playing much and now with the neck issue he is done. After seeing Ford numerous times with one of the cutest kids you will ever see, I can fully understand how the scare last week made him zoom out to take in the big picture.
Good luck and good health, T.J.!