According to Brian Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, Adonal Foyle has decided to retire. That’s not “Magic center Adonal Foyle,” or “twelve-year veteran Adonal Foyle,” even if he happens to be both of those things. Rather, the NBA’s most renowned renaissance man, one of its most inquisitive minds, and one if its most philanthropic individuals will hang them up. It’s not an announcement that will necessarily affect anyone’s win total, but the league will be a little bit less interesting without Foyle as a part of it.
Robbins threw out two interesting tidbits regarding Foyle’s (and the NBA’s) future:
Because of his retirement, Foyle said he likely will resign his
position as first vice president of the National Basketball Players
Association within the next few days.
The Magic’s director of player development position is vacant, and Foyle could be an ideal fit for the job. But aside from continuing his humanitarian work — he founded the
nonprofit Kerosene Lamp Foundation in 2005 to help children — Foyle
said he hasn’t considered what he’ll do next.
He said, “Right now, I just want to finish this part of my life and
then really try to figure out how to journey to the next spot.”
That first note is important. Foyle has long been an important part of the NBPA’s operations, and with negotiations over the terms of a new CBA ongoing, losing an asset like Foyle is a pretty big deal. There are still plenty of ways he can be involved in that process, but losing a direct avenue for Foyle’s knowledge, perspective, and charisma is a loss for the players.
Robbins also kind of nominates Foyle as a candidate for Orlando’s director of player development gig, which comes as something of a disappointment. As Eric Freeman noted earlier this year on the now-defunct Sporting News blog, The Baseline, “Foyle has always seemed, if not exactly better than basketball, than at least more attuned to the emotions and larger issues that the game reminds us of rather than the sport itself.”
Simply put, there are guys who live and die with the game, and there are those for which there is always something more. Maybe not a greater calling, but a different one. Foyle has seemed to be such a player — Freeman mentioned at the time that Foyle’s reputation may be deceiving in that regard — and to that I’ll echo a slight disappointment should Adonal opt for a more conventional post-NBA path.