Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 3/13/12

In 2003, TJ Ford was selected 8th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks after starring at the University of Texas. Eight seasons later, back again in Texas this past Monday as a member of the San Antonio Spurs, TJ Ford hung up the Nike Airs for the final time as he announced his retirement from the NBA.

This according to the AP:

San Antonio Spurs guard T.J. Ford announced his retirement from the NBA on Monday, saying his departure was for the best after the latest in a series of neck and spine injuries.

Ford, who turns 29 next week, averaged 3.6 points, 3.2 assists and 1.3 rebounds a game in limited playing time over 14 games with the Spurs this season, his eighth in the NBA.

"Official 'I Retire from the NBA' as of today," Ford posted on his Twitter page. "Thanks to all my fans who follow my career since a kid from all over the world. Basketball has been great to me & my family for 28yrs.

"Today will be a new beginning in life"

Ford, who played collegiately at the nearby University of Texas, has been nagged by neck injuries, the most recent coming last Wednesday in a victory over New York.

"While this was a tough decision to make, it is what is best for me and my family at this time," Ford said in a statement. "Regardless of what the future holds, I will carry the experiences, the friendships and the memories with me forever."

When he first entered the League, before the injuries caught up with him, Ford was a lightning quick lead guard who could dictate the tempo of an NBA game. The spinal injury he suffered that forced him to miss the entire 2004-05 season looked like something he probably shouldn't have come back from either when they rolled him off the court that night. To his credit, he did play his way back into the shape though, and enjoyed some quality seasons in the NBA from there. 

In 2008 he had his best year, as an Indiana Pacer, when he averaging 14.9 points, 5.3 dimes, and 3.5 rebounds  For his career he averaged 11.2, 5.8, and 3.1 per game, which is probably better than most people realized. He suffered a stinger earlier this week and was contemplating sitting out the rest of the season before eventually making the retirement decision. Best of luck to TJ Ford from here, class guy.

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This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

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