The 34-year-old announced his retirement on Instagram:
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Today is a bitter sweet moment for me. I'm officially announcing my retirement from pro basketball. I like to thank the organizations and fans in Charlotte, Phoenix, Orlando, Philly and especially The Bay Area for their loyal support the past 14 years. Walking away was the hardest decision I had to make but choosing my health and spending time with my family is more important to me! God bless!
Richardson spent 14 years in the NBA with the Warriors, Bobcats, Suns, Magic and 76ers. He was the go-to scorer on a few lousy teams in Golden State and Charlotte.
He never made an All-Star team or won a championship. His teams won just three playoff series.
It’s the type of résumé that would doom a good player like Richardson to being forgotten to history – if it weren’t for his dunk contests.
Richardson was a dunking savant.
He became the first player since Michael Jordan to win back-to-back dunk contests (a feat since matched by Nate Robinson). Richardson won the title as a rookie in 2002 and defended it the next year with this incredible off-the-bounce, between-the-legs reverse dunk:
Richardson fell to Fred Jones the following year, but not before going off the backboard for a between-the-legs dunk:
Vince Carter resurrected the dunk contest.
Richardson took it to the future.
As he got older, Richardson’s game drifted toward the perimeter. The Saginaw, Mich., native didn’t dunk nearly as much, but a steady diet of jumpers kept him in the league.
A knee injury sidelined Richardson in 2013, and foot injury kept him out longer. It seemed his career was over.
But Richardson returned two years later – an incredible accomplishment. It was arguably more meaningful than his dunk-contest success.
But cooler? No way.
Those were AWESOME.
Those are his NBA legacy.