Nemanja Bjelica Ex-Warriors NBA Champion
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The Warriors champion and former Kings forward Nemanja Bjelica Retires.

Published March 23, 2024 at 7:01 PM
Kevin Barreau
March 23, 2024  (7:01 PM)

Nemanja Bjelica has officially retired from basketball. The former Kings forward and Warriors champion made the announcement via an Instagram post on Saturday.

"Lately I have read several official announcements by professional athletes talking about the end of their careers," the 35-year-old Bjelica wrote in a statement. "That got me thinking that when the time comes, I would personally try to avoid such a moment, as I have always been a private person and have tried to keep my media appearances short and only related to basketball. Somewhere not long ago I read that no one has ever won a race against time. Over the last years I have become fully aware of that. Even now, after 20 years devoting myself to the game, I feel the need to officially announce that the end has come."

Selected in the second round of the 2010 draft, Bjelica made his NBA debut in 2015 after playing overseas. He played his initial three seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves before joining Sacramento in 2018.

Standing at 6 feet 10 inches, the Serbian forward started 138 out of 175 games during his two-plus seasons with the Kings, averaging 10.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 24.2 minutes per game.

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"When I arrived to the NBA I had to adjust and change my style of playing completely, but I do not regret," Bjelica said. "Firstly, Zarko Djurisic during my stay in Minnesota and then Vlade Divac and Peja Stojaković in Sacramento gave me new motivation and challenges and pushed me into new victories."

After being traded from Sacramento to the Miami Heat midway through the season, Bjelica joined the Warriors during the 2021 offseason. He played 71 regular-season games with Golden State, posting averages of 6.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 16.1 minutes per game.

During the postseason, Bjelica appeared in 15 games, averaging 2.9 points in 10 minutes per game as the Warriors secured the 2022 NBA championship.

"Finally, and the peak of my professional career, was getting the championship ring with the Golden State Warriors and coach Steve Kerr, who showed me that basketball is more than winning," Bjelica said.

Bjelica expressed gratitude towards late Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević while thanking all those who supported his career development.

The 2022 NBA title-winning season with the Warriors concluded Bjelica's NBA journey. He then played for the Turkish club Fenerbahçe Beko during the 2022-23 season.

Bjelica wraps up his basketball career after making 162 starts and appearing in 449 NBA games over seven seasons. His averages include 7.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, with a career 3-point shooting percentage of 38.4% and an overall shooting percentage of 46.6%.

Aside from his NBA accomplishments, Bjelica, a former EuroLeague MVP, also earned a silver medal representing Serbia in both the FIBA EuroBasket and FIBA World Cup.

While it remains uncertain what Bjelica's future holds post-retirement, indications suggest he may continue his involvement in basketball in some capacity.

"I'm officially retiring as a basketball player, but I am looking forward to new challenges in the sport that I love and that has given me everything," Bjelica said.

Source NBA Sports : Bjelica, ex-King who won championship with Warriors, retires
March 23   |   2 answers
The Warriors champion and former Kings forward Nemanja Bjelica Retires.

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