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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, June 16, 2024

Jason Richardson announces retirement

Last week, 15-year NBA veteran Jason Richardson announced his retirement from basketball. Richardson played with five different teams, most notably with the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns, over the course of his professional career. The 34-year-old NBA vet was drafted fifth overall in 2001 by the Warriors, where he played for six seasons. Last Thursday, he announced that due to injury concerns, he has decided to retire and start his life away from the game of basketball: Richardson, also dubbed J-Rich, had recently signed with the Atlanta Hawks, but an MRI showed he had bone spurs in his knee. Choosing to step away from the NBA must have been a difficult decision for the player, and in a Sept. 24 interview with Yahoo Sports, Richardson explained the reasoning behind his choice. “I don’t want to limp the rest of my life," he said. "I still have my whole life in front of me, God willing.”

J-Rich, one of the most electric basketball players to ever play in the NBA, was known for his high-flying acrobatic dunks. A two-time dunk champion in both 2002 and 2003, Richardson brought fame to an otherwise abysmal Warriors team that only eclipsed the 38-win mark once in the six years he played for them. The only winning season the Warriors recorded during his tenure was during the 2006-2007 season in which the Warriors went 42-40, making the playoffs as the No. 8 seed. They proceeded to knock off the No. 1 seeded Dallas Mavericks during their incredible playoff run -- Rich was a major reason for the success of the “We Believe” Warriors team of 2006-2007.

After his tenure with the Warriors, Richardson played for the Phoenix Suns, whom he helped propel to the Western Conference Finals in his second season with the team before they fell to eventual NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers. As the back court teammate of Steve Nash, J-Rich averaged around 16 points per game and had a very memorable playoff performance in which he scored a playoff career-high 42 points against the Portland Trailblazers.

Richardson was an incredible NBA talent with a large contingent of supporters, and his presence in the NBA will be missed. Athletic specimens like him do not come into the NBA very often, but it was his hustle and love of the game that resonated with so many players and fans. His leadership along with his abilities on the court are what made him such a great teammate and player on many successful teams. He will be remembered for his performances in the dunk contests and also his contributions to the iconic “We Believe” Warriors team. He helped the Warriors become a relevant franchise in the NBA and made the team one of the most exciting to watch.