The Matrix is ready to walk away. On his own terms.
Four-time All-Star and NBA champion (2011 Mavericks) Shawn Marion is going to retire after this season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is Marion’s 15th NBA season but at age 36 the pull of family was too strong, he told Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
When the Suns drafted Marion in 1999, Marion set a goal to play 15 seasons. The 36-year-old believes he could play another three seasons but being away from his first child, 8-month-old Shawn, has convinced him to retire after this season with the Cavaliers.
“I wanted to go out on my terms,” Marion said. “The biggest thing is having a son. I got attached to him. Seeing him periodically is hard. Watching him grow up on pictures and videos is hard.”
Marion signed with Cleveland this summer in part to be closer to his son, who lives in Chicago. Also, the Cavaliers looked like contenders.
While Marion has played for other teams and won his ring since then, we will remember him as part of the revolutionary Phoenix Suns teams that featured Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. Marion’s length, athleticism, and balanced game made him a great fit for those teams. He was part of the revolution in that he could play fast and at either the three or the four — and he could guard multiple positions well. Marion averaged 18.4 points and 10.0 rebounds but that really only tells part of the story of what he did with that team.
Ultimately, then GM Steve Kerr traded Marion for Shaquille O’Neal in an ill-fated move that spelled the end of the chances for those Suns.
Grantland’s Zach Lowe started an interesting debate on twitter.
In the end I think Marion misses the cut, but like Marion himself his case is sneaky good and based not on the raw numbers as much as the understanding of people who watched him on how he influenced the game.
Whatever happens with the Hall, Marion’s style will be missed.