Veteran Kings forward Abdur-Rahim retires after 12 seasons

Updated: September 22, 2008, 7:59 PM ET
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento Kings forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim retired Monday because of a persistent right knee injury.

The 31-year-old Abdur-Rahim played 12 NBA seasons for four teams, beginning his career in 1996 when the Vancouver Grizzlies made him the third overall draft pick. The 2002 All-Star averaged 18.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in his career, but the power forward reached the playoffs just once, with the Kings in 2006.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim

Abdur-Rahim

He appeared in just six games last season before getting season-ending surgery in December on his long-injured right knee. The former California star had two surgeries on his knee in six months last year to clean out the joint, but the pace of his recovery was frustratingly slow.

"I came to grips with the fact that, health-wise, I won't be able to get back to the condition and level that is needed to play in the NBA," Abdur-Rahim said. "My right knee has become arthritic over the years, and is to the point where it won't allow me do the things and play at the level at which I'm accustomed to playing. As tough as it is to come to grips with, it's the reality."

Abdur-Rahim also played for Atlanta and Portland before joining the Kings in 2005. He averaged at least 18.7 points in each of his first 7 NBA seasons while becoming the sixth-youngest player in NBA history to score 10,000 points, but knee problems plagued his three years with the Kings.

"He has had an exemplary career as a player and citizen," said Geoff Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations. "It is unfortunate for any productive career to be felled by injury. However, no one can ever doubt Shareef's effort, commitment or desire to excel."

The Kings plan to hire Abdur-Rahim to fill a yet-to-be-determined job with the organization, Petrie said.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press