Archive for Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Sabonis says he’ll likely retire

Blazers’ center plans to remain with family in Lithuania

August 13, 2003


— Arvydas Sabonis is retiring. Again.

The 7-foot-3 center for the Portland Trail Blazers told his agent, Chicago-based Herb Rudoy, that it was unlikely he'd return to the NBA this season because he wanted to spend more time with his family in Lithuania.

"He informed me yesterday that it was not his intention to come back and play this year," Rudoy said Tuesday.

Sabonis was scheduled to be in Portland for a team physical this week, but instead stayed home. The Blazers and Sabonis had until Friday to sign a deal that would guarantee his salary for next season.

The Trail Blazers can still trade his rights before then, giving the team that acquires him some salary cap relief. Sabonis was set to make $7 million in the second year of a three-year deal he signed with the Trail Blazers before last season.

Sabonis, 38, has already retired once, sitting out the 2001-2002 season when he also cited a desire to spend more time with his family.

The news that Sabonis won't return comes amid trade rumors involving the Blazers and the New Jersey Nets. Several newspapers have reported that a deal has been discussed that would send Kenyon Martin and Dikembe Mutombo to Portland in exchange for Rasheed Wallace and the rights to Sabonis. Neither side would comment on trade rumors.

A likable fan favorite, Sabonis joined the Trail Blazers in 1995 and has averaged 12 points and 7.3 rebounds in 470 games. He is seventh on the team's career list for rebounds with 3,436.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.