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Serious neck injury forces Spurs’ T.J. Ford to retire

Mar 12, 2012, 12:31 PM EDT

T.J. Ford AP

Last Wednesday night T.J. Ford left the Spurs game with what was described as a “neck stinger,” the latest in a line of neck injuries the point guard has battled through in his career.

Those injuries were a lot more serious than had been let on — doctors had told him to stop playing and he had on a couple occasions had temporary paralysis due to his neck and spine issues.

So after seven seasons Ford has decided to walk away from the game at age 28 while he can still walk.

The official press release from the Spurs says he is taking a leave of absence, but Ford told Jeff McDonald of the Express-News he is retiring. Here is the quote, via McDonald on twitter.

“After last Wednesday, I felt being on the floor and being in that position one too many times. I feel like that was enough for me… That was the last basketball game you’ll see me play. I played the last five years with doctor’s orders not to play. I still defeated the odds with this condition. It’s tough because I know I can still play. If I had to play today, I could play. The tests came back negative. I just felt mentally and physically, my body has taken enough.”

Ford has two children, ages six and four. Getting to run and play with them in 10 years matters a lot more than another basketball game.

It seems the smart move, the mature move. We wish Ford the very best in whatever he chooses to do next.

On a far less important note, look for the Spurs to maybe make a move to bring in a backup point guard, they now have nobody of real experience on the roster behind Tony Parker.

  1. stayhigh_247 - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    this sucks, but i’m glad he has the foresight to walk away from it and not be carried off the court. Pop should give the man a clipboard and keep him involved in the game. Hey Peyton Manning, you watching this?

  2. explosionsauce - Mar 12, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Ford has two children, ages six and four. Getting to run and play with them in 10 years matters a lot more than another basketball game.
    _____________________________

    Very well said.

  3. bowwserr - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    ….as a Spurs fan, a die hard one….this is sad. Completely support him 150% in his decision to retire, but damn. He didn’t get to wear the Spurs uniform near enough for my liking. T.J., you will be missed on the court. As a Longhorn, and a Spur.

  4. basketball34 - Mar 12, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Best wishes to this very talented young man for all future health, happiness, and success. He will be missed.

  5. 00maltliquor - Mar 12, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    That sucks. Best of luck to you T.J.. Loved you as a Longhorn, just had an unfulfilled career full of injuries that killed his promising career.

  6. ragingmouse - Mar 12, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Too bad! Saw a lot of potential in him with the spurs organization, nice fit.

    But the best decision he could of made hands down!

    May have a bad neck, but obviously a good head on his shoulders!

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