DALLAS (CBSSPORTS.COM) – Peja Stojakovic is going out on top.
One of the greatest shooters in NBA history, Stojakovic, 34, announced he will retire after 13 seasons in the NBA which finished with him winning his first ever championship with the Mavericks last season.
“When you start competing against your body more than you’re preparing for the actual game,” Stojakovic said, “it’s a wakeup call.”
Stojakovic said he was battling through neck and back issues and because of the physical demand of an NBA season, he just saw it as time to hang it up.
“I feel so blessed to have been given the athletic gifts to play professional basketball,” Stojakovic said in a release. “I have always loved the game, and have great respect for it, and I know the time is right to step away. I promised myself a long time ago, if it came to the point where my heart and body were not 100% committed, I would step away. I have reached that point and I know the time is right to retire.”
Stojakovic, a three-time All-Star, played for the Kings, Pacers, Hornets and Mavericks. He averaged 17 points per game for his career, 40 percent from 3-point range and fourth all-time with 1,760 3-pointers made.
So with Stojakovic being one of the greatest shooters ever, it has to be asked: Is he Hall of Fame material?
He will be, at least in terms of the international Hall of Fame committee. He was a star in Greece for a number of years and was a major part of the Serbian national team winning the 2001 Eurobasket tournament and the 2002 World Championship. As for NBA Hall of Famer, probably not.
Though Peja did have some incredible years in Sacramento. Look at his run from 2000-2005. He averaged better than 20 ppg on 48 percent shooting and 40 percent shooting from 3. His 2003-04 season was outstanding: 24.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 48 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from 3. That’s incredible.
After he finished in Sacramento, he had difficulty staying healthy, missing about 30 games on average every season after that.
He’s an all-time great shooter and after multiple years of being so close in Sacramento, Stojakovic got his title in Dallas last season. Always a good way to go out.