The best way to leave any situation is on a high note. The Late Great Johnny Carson left the “Tonight Show” back in 1992, when he was at the peak of his powers and the show was a ratings juggernaut. John Elway retired from the Denver Broncos right after winning a Super Bowl and will always be thought of as going out as a Champion. Monday, one of the great shooters over the last few years retired from the NBA after winning an NBA Title last June. “ESPN.com” has reported that small forward Peja Stojakovic has decided to retire after 13-years in the NBA. Stojakovic told reporters that his body was giving him signals that it was time to hang up his sneakers. He said “When you start competing against your body more than you’re preparing for the actual game it’s a wakeup call.”
NBA Commissioner David Stern released a statement on Monday, praising the native of Yugoslavia. The Commissioner wrote “Peja will go down as one of the great shooters in the history of the NBA. His success was the result of a tireless work ethic and an unquenchable desire to be the best at what he did. Peja’s legacy, however, goes way beyond his 3-point skills and that elusive Finals title he won last season with the Dallas Mavericks. Peja was part of the wave of international stars that helped introduce the world to the NBA game and inspired thousands of fans to begin playing the sport of basketball.”
The 34-year-old veteran was a sharpshooter especially from outside the arc as he retires with an average of over 40% from three-point range. Although Peja was acquired by the Mavericks in mid-season he proved to be a key factor for the club in the Post Season, coming up big in the club’s sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Stojakovic was a big part of the Sacramento Kings offense as he played with the club from the 1998-1999 campaign until he was traded to the Indiana Pacers during the 2005-2006 season. He then moved on to the New Orleans Hornets where he helped the team win their first Southwest Division Title in 2008. The forward averaged 17.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game for his career.