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Mehmet Okur announces his retirement from basketball

Nov 8, 2012, 11:48 AM EDT

Mehmet Okur AP

Mehmet Okur, the Turkish big man with a soft outside shot but who also could bang inside, has announced his retirement after 10 seasons in the NBA (the last couple marred by injuries).

Sportando had the story from NTV Spor in Turkey.

Mehmet Okur announced his retire from basketball at 33….Okur decided to retire because of the injuries who affected him over the last three seasons of his career.

“I want to thank my family, my coaches, my teammates, the officials who have contributed to my career. And then I want to say Thanks to the fans who always supported me” said Okur to NTVSpor.

Okur was drafted by the Pistons but spent most of his NBA career in Utah. There he had is best years as a stretch four/five with a pretty shot. He averaged as much as 19 points and 7.8 rebounds a game in 2007, which happened to be the year he was named to the All-Star team. While we remember his shot, he could be physical when he needed to be.

Okur also won a ring as a member of the 2004 Detroit Pistons. (I had forgotten about that, too, until I pulled up his career stats. It’s just hard to picture him in a Pistons’ jersey.)

He was trying to land on another NBA team this season but after a couple of years of back injuries and a ruptured Achilles no teams were willing to take a shot at it. Rather than continue to play overseas and deal with injuries (he played in Turkey during the lockout) he has decided to walk away.

  1. shanelsweet - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    He collected a salary while hampered by injuries for 3 years. He scored a total of 194 points the last 2 years. If he were more of a mentor type and better known as a great locker room guy, he’d be sitting on the end of somebody’s bench right now. Most teams play with an eight or less man rotation, so teams pay players they know aren’t going to play. You’ve got to love unions.

  2. tonydelk - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    I was always of fan of Mehmet. He helped pave the way for other European bigs who could shoot from downtown. Always a solid big man role player that played on good teams. I’ll be pouring one out for Okur tonight. So don’t knock the guy for being an average NBA player. Nikoloz Tskitishvili would have killed for his career.

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