Mehmet Okur announced his retire from basketball at 33….Okur decided to retire because of the injuries who affected him over the last three seasons of his career.
“I want to thank my family, my coaches, my teammates, the officials who have contributed to my career. And then I want to say Thanks to the fans who always supported me” said Okur to NTVSpor.
Okur was drafted by the Pistons but spent most of his NBA career in Utah. There he had is best years as a stretch four/five with a pretty shot. He averaged as much as 19 points and 7.8 rebounds a game in 2007, which happened to be the year he was named to the All-Star team. While we remember his shot, he could be physical when he needed to be.
Okur also won a ring as a member of the 2004 Detroit Pistons. (I had forgotten about that, too, until I pulled up his career stats. It’s just hard to picture him in a Pistons’ jersey.)
He was trying to land on another NBA team this season but after a couple of years of back injuries and a ruptured Achilles no teams were willing to take a shot at it. Rather than continue to play overseas and deal with injuries (he played in Turkey during the lockout) he has decided to walk away.
With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.
The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.
And so the search goes on.
The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.
With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.
Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker