Page last updated on Mon Nov 20 12:30:57 EST 2017
Wed, 14 Mar 2012 05:20 PM EDT

Spurs point guard T.J. Ford curtly retired Monday after the latest scare to his surgically repaired spine, which already sidelined him for an entire NBA season and constrained the blinding promise that made him a college star. NFL betting lines

Ford said that lying motionless March 7 on the court towards the New York Knicks wasn’t the 1st time it had occurred, and he decided to walk away while he still had an opportunity. He was playing just his 14th game in an injury-prone season when Knicks guard Baron Davis thrust him in the back, knocking him to the ground.

The 28-year-old Ford didn’t move for several minutes and wobbled while being helped off the court.

“If it’s anybody else, it is simply a regular play,” Ford asserted. “But due to me and my status, a simple elbow in the back has a different result than hitting somebody else in the back.”

Drafted 8th overall by Milwaukee in 2003, Ford also played for the Raptors and Pacers but never quite reached the ability that made him the Naismith and Wooden player of the year at Texas. He led the Longhorns to the final Four as a sophomore, helping turn football-obsessed Texas into a rising basketball power that gave the program the profile to signup stars like Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge. Football odds

But Ford was just 55 games into his rookie season when a crash with Timberwolves forward Mark Madsen modified his career. He landed hard on his tailbone after releasing a short jumper and immediately felt numb on slamming to the ground. Trainers transfixed Ford’s neck and carted him off on a stretcher.

Ford underwent spinal fusion surgery and was sidelined thru the subsequent season. He came back to the Bucks in 2005 and was traded in 2006 to Toronto, where Ford commenced putting together his best seasons. He averaged 14 points and 7.9 assists in his Raptors debut, and his scoring average hit a career high of 14.9 points with Indiana in 2008-09.

But by the subsequent season, at 26, Ford was transitioning from a franchise point guard to a backup. He still took pleasure in a career that was generally played against the guidance of doctors.

“I feel I succeeded at beating the chances, of being the small guy, making it to the NBA and lasting as long as I did,” Ford announced. “I think I have accomplished a lot. I know I did not have the career I expected and everyone expected, me having been the player of the year (at Texas). But I think that I still had a prospering career.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who signed Ford in December to be Tony Parker’s backup, said the team enjoyed having him around.

“I congratulate him on all that he has achieved as a player and completely support the tough decision he was compelled to make,” Popovich announced.

Knocked out most of the year as a result of a troubling hamstring injury, Ford was averaging 3.6 points, 3.2 assists and 1.3 rebounds with the Spurs. For his career, Ford played in 429 games, averaging 11.2 points, 5.8 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.16 steals.

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