Peja Stojakovic to Retire after 13 Seasons

by December 19, 2011

Peja Stojakovic, one of the purest shooters in the history of the game, has decided to retire after 13 seasons. At age 34 and fresh off a Championship with the Dallas Mavericks, Stojakovic attributes his retirement to the physical toll caused by a series of back and neck troubles. ESPN has the details: “‘When you start competing against your body more than you’re preparing for the actual game,’ Stojakovic said, ‘it’s a wakeup call.’ Stojakovic does have the privilege of leaving the sport on an unquestioned high after some standout moments during the maiden title run in Mavericks history. He scored 15 points and 21 points in back-to-back home victories over the Los Angeles Lakers that sealed a second-round sweep over the then-reigning champions, including a 6-for-6 performance from 3-point range in the Game 4 rout that eliminated L.A. But Stojakovic had to grit through persistent neck trouble in March — believed to be connected to his longstanding back woes — just to work his way back into coach Rick Carlisle’s playoff rotation. He leaves the NBA with career averages of 17 points and 40 percent shooting from 3-point range, ranking fourth all-time with 1,760 career 3-pointers made after establishing himself as an All-Star with the Sacramento Kings and later playing with the Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Hornets and Mavericks. Stojakovic quickly grew close with Mavericks star forward Dirk Nowitzki in their short time as teammates. Reflecting on the January rival of his longtime former Kings rival, Nowitzki said: “The first time I saw him at practice shooting, I knew his stroke was still sick.'”