Darren Collison has decided to retire from the NBA, the veteran point guard announced on Friday.
"Basketball has been my life since I was a child," Collison wrote in an article on The Undefeated. "I could never imagine finding anything that brings me more joy than I get from playing the game. While I still love basketball, I know there is something more important, which is my family and my faith. I am one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and my faith means everything to me. I receive so much joy from volunteering to help others and participate in a worldwide ministry. The joy I feel is unmatched. With that being said, I have decided to retire from the NBA."
Collison, 31, went on to explain the reasoning behind his decision to walk away from the game following a 10-year career. After long deliberation with agent Bill Duffy, Collison said he wanted to concentrate on helping the less fortunate through his Jehovah's Witness faith.
"Obviously, when you love the game of basketball like I do, you focus more on that and can’t do everything else you want for good reason," Collison wrote. "I have always felt the need to do more to help others; that’s why it is so important to try and help out as much as possible."
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Collison, a free agent, was on target to secure a $10 to $12 million annual salary this summer before his decision to retire.
Collison was drafted by the then-New Orleans Hornets in 2009 and earned All-Rookie team honors in his first season. He was traded to the Pacers in 2010, where he spent two years before playing for the Mavericks, Clippers and Kings.
Collison signed with Indiana for a second stint in 2017 and averaged 11.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.0 assists last season.
"I am so grateful for all the opportunities that basketball has brought to my life," Collison said. "I have had the privilege over the past 10 years to play in front of some of the best fans and with some of the best organizations in the league... Players such as Victor Oladipo, Russell Westbrook, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James who had a major impact on me competing at the highest level. I either have a close relationship with those that I have mentioned or they inspired me to work harder."
Collison averaged 12.5 points, 5.0 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game throughout his career.