There are just certain players that remind you of certain teams. When you hear the names John Stockton and Karl Malone, how can you not help but think about the Utah Jazz? How can you not think about the San Antonio Spurs when you hear the names Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker? Or Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers? And Dirk Nowitzki with the Dallas Mavericks? There are just some players that you naturally associate certain teams with. And understandably so.
Of course, that does not mean that these players necessarily finish their careers with those same teams. Paul Pierce is a good modern day example of this. Paul Pierce will always be remembered as a Boston Celtic that bleeds white and green, and he may in fact be a part of the Celtics association after he retires. But the fact of the matter is that Pierce has already played for the Brooklyn Nets and is now on the Washington Wizards, and who knows what team he will eventually finish his illustrious career with?
And Pierce is not alone. His former teammate, Rajon Rondo, was on the Boston Celtics his entire career, and now he is in the Western Conference playing for the Dallas Mavericks. It looks weird, feels weird, and seems awkward, but sometimes it is not about retiring sentimentally, so much as it is about collecting every last cent while you can. And who can blame them?
The following list of players, are players that you may associate with a particular team, but where they finished their careers, will leave you saying, “Wow, really? I didn’t know that?” Kevin Garnett may have returned to Minnesota and LeBron James may have come back home to Cleveland, but these players never got to finish, where they started.
15 Jalen Rose – Phoenix Suns
14 Tim Hardaway – Indiana Pacers
13 Antoine Walker – Minnesota Timberwolves
12 Rasheed Wallace – New York Knicks
11 Shawn Kemp – Orlando Magic
10 Robert Parish – Chicago Bulls
9 Dennis Rodman – Dallas Mavericks
8 Patrick Ewing – Orlando Magic
7 Dominique Wilkins – Orlando Magic
6 Gary Payton – Miami Heat
5 Moses Malone – San Antonio Spurs
4 Karl Malone – Los Angeles Lakers
3 Hakeem Olajuwon – Toronto Raptors
2 Shaquille O’Neal – Boston Celtics
1 Michael Jordan – Washington Wizards
Michael has a statue of himself outside of the United Center, which shows how much of a staple he is in the city of Chicago. Michael is currently the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, but he will forever be an icon in the city of Chicago. After a brief three-year hiatus from basketball, Michael returned to the NBA, but this time as Washington Wizard for two years. The hope was that he could become the owner of the Wizards after he played for them, but things didn’t pan out that way. More importantly though, he still averaged over 20 points per game even at the age of 39. Absolutely remarkable.
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