It seems like it was only yesterday when Jason Richardson almost stole the Vinsanity show during an exhibition game between the 2000 Olympics Team and a USA Select team in 2000. It also seemed like just a few years ago to me when I watched Jason Richardson win the 2003 Rookie Challenge MVP after connecting on 7 3-pointers and pissing off Carlos Boozer by throwing the ball off his head. Richardson also won 1 of his 2 dunk contests that weekend and the reason why I’m taking a trip down memory lane and thinking about one of the greatest and maybe unappreciated dunkers of all-time is because Jason Richardson, after 14 seasons, announced his retirement on Wednesday night via his Instagram account.
Today is a bitter sweet moment for me. I’m officially announcing my retirement from pro basketball. I like to thank the organizations and fans in Charlotte, Phoenix, Orlando, Philly and especially The Bay Area for their loyal support the past 14 years. Walking away was the hardest decision I had to make but choosing my health and spending time with my family is more important to me! God bless!
The 34 year old 2 x Dunk Champion who signed a deal with the Hawks earlier in the summer talked to Marc J. Spears about the decision and said he plans on moving to Denver where his wife and 3 kids live.
“I didn’t want to limp the rest of my life,” Richardson told Yahoo Sports. “I still have my whole life in front of me, God willing. I sat alone at a park in Atlanta thinking and no one said anything to me because they didn’t recognize me since I just got there. I talked to my wife for an hour on the phone and then I sat for five hours thinking while listening to music before deciding that retiring was the right thing to do.”
“I worked hard and had love and passion for the game. But I didn’t want to be that guy who was just there collecting a paycheck.”
In honor of J-Rich, let’s take a look back at the best moments of his basketball career and watch him earn those paychecks while being one of those rare players who really was worth the price of admission.