San Antonio Spurs guard T.J. Ford announced Monday via Twitter that he is officially retiring from the NBA after multiple neck and spine injuries throughout his eight-year NBA career, the most recent being a neck stinger he suffered against the New York Knicks on Wednesday.
Thanks to all my fans who follow my career since a kid from all over the world, said Ford. Basketball has been great to me & my family for 28yrs.
Ford (R), during his time with the Pacers in 2009, drives to the basket against then-Raptors guard Jarrett Jack on Nov. 24, 2009. (Reuters/Mark Blinch)
Immediately after, he tweeted: It's official ' I Retire from the NBA ' as of today.
Ford also released a statement through the Spurs on Monday. It read:
While this was a tough decision to make, it is what is best for me and my family at this time. I have been blessed to play alongside wonderful teammates for great coaches and organizations from high school, to college, to the NBA. Regardless of what the future holds, I will carry the experiences, the friendships and the memories with me forever. The support I've received from family, friends and the fans has been humbling and I am looking forward to evaluating my professional options following this season.
Fans and fellow NBA players took to Twitter to offer words of support for Ford, who also played for the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers:
@tj_ford sry to hear the sad news, hope we win you u a ring this yr. hope ur ok!
A very sad day for #Texas basketball. @tj_ford just announced his retirement from the NBA, TJ is a LEGEND in Texas & will be missed! #NBA
@tj_ford Thanks for the goodtimes when tou was here in Toronto! All the best to you in your new journey.
Respect for the career of @tj_ford. Health comes first.
Sad to hear about TJ Ford retiring. Great dude and great ball player.
Best of luck goes to TJ Ford. Been a fan since his days at Texas. Dnt be surprised if he makes a comeback before its all said and done
My prayers go out @tj_ford enjoyed watching him play for Texas and the Bucks
@TJ_FORD Good luck in the future.Enjoyed Watching you in Indy as a member of the @Pacers. #PacerNation wishes you you well!
LeBron James: Man sorry to hear about my 03 draft classmate TJ Ford! Get healthy and hopefully see u back on the court someday!
Dwayne Wade: WOW..jus hrd the news abt @tjford..sittn hre remembering 03' at the wooden awards when we both talked abt entering the draft early. Health b4 self. You will b missed on the court
DeJuan Blair: S/O to my big bro @tj_ford u da man u had a great career man! #SALUTE
Chuck Hayes: I salute the homie @tj_ford the game will miss ya, pray for ya health and happines #RESPECT
Jose Calderon: Sad to hear about my teammate TJ Ford. Great memories, great times with him in @Raptors uniform.Best wishes for him and his family
Dahntay Jones: @tj_ford: It's official I Retire from the NBA as of today it was a pleasure being your teammate bro. Best of luck dragonfly
Andrew Bogut: Sad news about @tj_ford . All the best mate no matter what you decide!
Ford was the eighth overall pick by the Bucks in 2003. Halfway through his rookie season, he suffered a spinal injury and surgery forced him to miss all of the next season.
Ford joined the Spurs on Dec. 10, appearing in 14 games and averaging 3.6 points, 3.2 assists, 1.3 rebounds and 0.6 steals in 13.6 minutes primarily as a reserve. For his career, he played in 429 games, averaging 11.2 points, 5.8 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.16 steals in 27.7 minutes.
The entire organization has enjoyed having T.J. Ford in San Antonio this season, said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. I congratulate him on all that he has achieved as a player and fully support the difficult decision he was forced to make. T.J. has a bright future ahead of him and will always be a member of the Spurs family.