Darren Collison surprised teammates and a few GMs around the league, along with fans and media, when he announced on ‘The Undefeated’ that he will retire from the NBA after 10 seasons.
DC is just 31, but after making over $33 million over his career will be able to retire comfortably while moving on to the next phase of his life which will likely continue to involve basketball.
Or at least it should.
After watching Collison play four of his 10 years with the Pacers, he has plenty to offer a team or individual players based on his experience and the continual development of his game into a consistent pro on several levels.
DC played two stents with the Pacers, a two-year stretch in his early twenties and then his final two seasons in his very early thirties. While his numbers were remarkably similar in both tours of duty with the Pacers (around 12 points, 5 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game) his impact on the team was far greater as a veteran player and leader on the floor and in the locker room.
While he started most of the games he payed in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, he was fighting for his role in the league while the Pacers were in transition. Frank Vogel took over midway through that first season and Collison was part of the plucky team that made the playoffs and played five entertaining games in the playoffs against the Bulls.
The next year, Collison remained on edge as the Pacers brought in George Hill for the 66-game season. DC remained a starter but GHill took over the next season after the Pacers traded Collison as part of a deal for Ian Mahinmi. The younger Collison played with a chip on his shoulder and could be a little surly at times.
During his second time around with the Pacers, DC was a much more mature player and provided plenty of quality leadership for the Pacers while also handling a heavy load with the media, whether after an impressive win or frustrating loss.
DC consistently showed up ready to play and give a high level of effort. No doubt several teams around the league are not happy today, thinking they would be in the mix to add the reliable point guard for next season.
Good luck and enjoy retirement, DC!
Here are some reactions from DC’s teammates.
RESPECT! Big Bro Happy Retirement! pic.twitter.com/isat1SZw0V— Myles Turner (@Original_Turner) June 29, 2019
Thanks for everything big bro! Enjoy retirement! pic.twitter.com/oGC1qLGQ98— Domantas Sabonis (@Dsabonis11) June 29, 2019