Last Wednesday, point guard T.J. Ford suffered a minor neck injury after taking an elbow from Baron Davis. Luckily, Ford was OK, as he was diagnosed with just a stinger. While the collision was different, the sight of Ford motionless on the floor was not. Ford, who suffers from spinal stenosis, has never played a full season in the NBA.
Ford missed the final 26 games of his rookie season and all of the next season when he was nearly paralyzed by Mark Madsen. In 2007, he missed two months following a flagrant foul by Al Horford after leaving the game on a stretcher. Being in that position again made the decision to retire easy for Ford. From SpursNation:
By Monday morning, Ford said he was feeling no ill effects from the injury.
“If I had to play today, I could play,” he said.
Instead, Ford says it was his mental state that led him to call it quits. He couldn’t picture a future in which he is unable to play with his 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.
“I don’t know if I could live with myself if I continue to put myself at risk,” Ford said. “I don’t want to look at my son and have regrets of not being able to enjoy every minute playing with him.”
Ford spent time with the Bucks, Raptors, Pacers and Spurs. He averaged 11 points and 5.8 assists over his career. People will say Ford’s career was too short, but Ford is probably happy that it was that long.