One day, you lose an non-athletic white center who made a name for himself as a Pacer. The next day, the exact same thing happens. Jeff Foster’s not getting 1,000 words though, mostly because he almost killed Luol Deng once.
Nonetheless, Jeff Foster’s headed to that big offensive rebound in the sky. From the Pacers’ website:
After 13 seasons in the NBA, all with the Indiana Pacers, forward/center Jeff Foster announced his retirement Wednesday due to chronic back problems.
“It’s with deep regret that I have to conclude my basketball career,” said Foster. “I’ve given my all to the Pacers and the community the last 13 years. I had hoped to be able to finish the season, but unfortunately my back problems prevented that from occurring. I want to thank the Simon family and the Pacers’ organization for 13 memorable years.”
That is the all-business, official goodbye message. Here are the fun ones, from Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star:
Foster wanted to go out on his own terms – with his kids watching him play in the final game of the season – not because of back problems.
Foster on what he plans to do next, “I’m going to become a beat writer at the Indianapolis Star.”
Foster: “Indiana is home. A native Texan becoming a true Hoosier is something I never thought would happen 13 yrs ago.”
It’s not the best retirement statement of the week, but still pretty good. Any other week, this would take the retirement party cake. Bad timing, Jeff.
I was never the biggest Jeff Foster fan, but you have to give props to a guy who only had one real skill — offensive rebounding — but still managed to stay in the league for 13 seasons. That’s incredible. And so is the fact he led the league in offensive rebound percentage last season at age 34 and has turned in five of the top 25 offensive rebound rates of the past 10 years. Dude could rebound, smirk and all.
You’ll be missed, Jeff Foster. Your dedication to rebounding and looking like a banker who was the coolest guy in his high school was certainly commendable, as was playing an entire career for one team and leaving on your own terms. Not many players get to do that. Have fun elbowing people in the head wherever you may roam. Farewell.