After battling a chronic hip injury for the last two years, former San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter has officially announced his retirement from the NBA.
The 33-year-old confirmed his decision on Twitter and stated that "the time to say goodbye" has come after a seven-year career in the league.
The Brazilian spent 11 years playing overseas before he joined the Spurs in 2010 after they selected him with the 28th overall pick in the 2007 draft.
He competed in two NBA Finals with San Antonio, losing to the Miami Heat in 2013 before beating the same opponents the following year to claim his first ring.
The big man was eventually traded by the Spurs to the Atlanta Hawks in 2015 as they needed the necessary cap space to acquire free agent LaMarcus Aldridge.
He suffered a hip injury in 2016 with the Hawks and played in just 44 games in almost two years, which included four appearances for the Philadelphia 76ers where he was traded to in 2017.
His last NBA appearance was for the Sixers in April and he's now been forced to call it a day.
"It's a decision I've made over the last few months. It's not something I want, but the hip injury I'm having is more troublesome than we thought it would be. I've been talking to my family, my wife, everyone, and it's really time to hang out," said Splitter in an interview with Brazilian network SporTV, via ESPN.
"I did the surgery on the right side of the hip after my injury. It was all right. I put a piece of metal on my hip and I was the first one to play with a prosthesis in the NBA.
"But the other side started to hurt so I looked for the same doctor that performed my first surgery. He said he would have to do the same thing on the other side if I wanted to play.
"I would need another 12, 13 months of recovery. At that point, I thought, it won't be physically possible for me to compete with these kids."
Splitter will be best remembered for his time as a member of the Spurs. He averaged 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds over five seasons in Texas.
In the same interview, he also explained that he's in discussions with Gregg Popovich about taking on a role with the Spurs.
"[San Antonio] Is a place where I feel at home, where I know everyone," Splitter said. "Every time I go there for a visit, they open the doors for me.
"It does not mean that I will have always a guaranteed position over there. But I think and I'm thrilled about the possibility of working with the Spurs in the future."News Now - Sport News