Mehmet Okur officially announced his retirement from the NBA. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Mehmet Okur, the former Utah Jazz center who led the team to multiple playoff appearances from 2004-2011, officially announced his retirement from the NBA on Thursday, as reported by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando:
“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.”
It was speculated back in June by Jazz radio announcer David Locke that Okur would retire to play in his native Turkey. Okur, 33, started with Turk Telekom Ankara and then returned to the NBA after the lockout had ended, playing 17 games with the Nets, who were still in New Jersey, and averaging 7.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
Okur was traded by the Nets to the Portland Trailblazers before the 2011-12 NBA trade deadline but the Blazers waived him before he played any games. Okur has been riddled with back injuries throughout his career, playing in 30 games over the past two seasons.
An All-Star in 2007, Okur won an NBA Championship as a member of the Larry Brown-coached Detroit Pistons in 2004, the first Turkish player to win an NBA title.