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Frank Slade
02-04-2006, 07:35 PM
:kickcan:
Pacers F Bender announces retirement

Updated on Saturday, Feb 4, 2006 7:17 pm EST

February 4, 2006
INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) - Jonathan Bender's NBA career apparently was never meant to be.

The oft-injured Bender announced in a written statement Saturday that he has retired due to a chronic knee ailment.


"Due to a medical condition in my knees, I will not be able to continue playing basketball," said Bender, who has played a total of just nine games for the Indiana Pacers over the past two seasons. "I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to spend six seasons with the Indiana Pacers ,and I want to thank the organization for their support and encouragement."

The 7-0 Bender has always possessed seemingly limitless potential but has been plagued by injuries throughout his career. He played just two games this season before being sidelines by a sore left knee.

The fifth overall draft selection in 1999, Bender was dealt to Indiana by the Toronto Raptors on August 8, 1999. He averaged 5.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in parts of seven seasons with the Pacers.


"I learned how to be a professional from the best GM in the business, Donnie Walsh, and one of the all-time greatest basketball players, Hall of Famer Larry Bird," Bender said. "The Pacers gave me a chance to play with and against the best basketball players in the world. That is an experience I will cherish forever."
Bender, who was drafted straight out of high school, showed flashes of brilliance with the Pacers but never blossomed into the player the organization hoped he would be.


"Pacers fans are the best in the league and I will never forget their loyalty and the way they embraced me when I came to this city as a young man," he said. "As difficult as it is for me right now not to be playing basketball, I know that I will always have the memories of my teammates, the fans, and Pacers management. For that, I am grateful."


http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=pacersbenderretires&prov=st&type=lgns

Kstat
02-04-2006, 07:36 PM
Shame.

Just turned 25 a week ago. Hate to see a career end that early.

That said, I'm %99 sure he'll be back at some point. Give him five good years and he'll throw his hat back into the ring.

18to88
02-04-2006, 07:39 PM
poor JB. Oh what it could have been...

owl
02-04-2006, 07:57 PM
Shame.

Just turned 25 a week ago. Hate to see a career end that early.

That said, I'm %99 sure he'll be back at some point. Give him five good years and he'll throw his hat back into the ring.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

Unless his knees have a miraculous healing which replaces the cartilage
in them, he is done. He is more likely to have knee replacements in 5 years
than he is to come back in 5 years. The Pacers have a very poor history'
in regards to players retiring due to injuries. Kellogg, Stipanovich, Scott
Haskins and now Bender. Either knee or back problems did them in.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/1999/draft/news/1999/06/29/bender_pageone/


owl

Lord Helmet
02-04-2006, 08:00 PM
:(

It wasn't like it wasn't coming, though. :(

NorCal_Pacerfan
02-04-2006, 08:04 PM
Sad, but it had to be. Now the Pacers can move on from this as well.

JB, best of luck, enjoy the rest of your life. There's a lot more than just BBall. You now have the gift of financial success. May you put it to good use.

Peace...

bulldog
02-04-2006, 08:09 PM
So, I'm sure this has been discussed to death, but what happens with his salary and the cap?

Tom White
02-04-2006, 08:26 PM
Notice that he does not say "I am retiring." anywhere in his statement, only that he will not be playing. The reason I mention this is that there is a difference with regard to his drawing his salary. I don't remember just what the particulars are, but there is a difference. Insurance vs. the Pacers paying, or whatever?

This does now open the door for the Pacers to file for an injured player exception, and that is a good thing.

brichard
02-04-2006, 08:42 PM
It really is too bad that he never got a chance to grow and develop. However, much like a budding romance gone bad, it is better to cut bait and move on for both parties.

Hicks
02-04-2006, 08:43 PM
Unfortunate, but expected.

shags
02-04-2006, 09:17 PM
So, I'm sure this has been discussed to death, but what happens with his salary and the cap?

Pacers should be around $8 to $10 million under the luxury tax in the summer. They may even get to take Bender's salary off the cap this year.

jcouts
02-04-2006, 09:20 PM
somewhere in the article I read, it stated that the Pacers can apply for relief from his salary, which will be covered by insurance or something from this point on

bmac
02-04-2006, 09:22 PM
That said, I'm %99 sure he'll be back at some point. Give him five good years and he'll throw his hat back into the ring.

Because he hasn't made enough money, right?

Los Angeles
02-04-2006, 09:29 PM
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

Unless his knees have a miraculous healing which replaces the cartilage
in them, he is done. He is more likely to have knee replacements in 5 years
than he is to come back in 5 years. The Pacers have a very poor history'
in regards to players retiring due to injuries. Kellogg, Stipanovich, Scott
Haskins and now Bender. Either knee or back problems did them in.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/1999/draft/news/1999/06/29/bender_pageone/


owl

Don't forget Smits.

Anthem
02-04-2006, 09:34 PM
He is more likely to have knee replacements in 5 years than he is to come back in 5 years.
Well said. Good call.

Anthem
02-04-2006, 09:35 PM
The Pacers have a very poor history in regards to players retiring due to injuries. Kellogg, Stipanovich, Scott Haskins and now Bender. Either knee or back problems did them in.
Don't forget Smits.
Rik's back and knees were the only part that DIDN'T hurt.

It was his feet that did him in.

Moses
02-04-2006, 09:40 PM
Rik's back and knees were the only part that DIDN'T hurt.

It was his feet that did him in.
Most big men have feet and ankle problems irreguardless of what team they are on. It's about time Bender retired in my opinion. No use leaving it up for discussion as to whether or not he would come back because he clearly wont. Will this count against our cap next year? I remember someone saying that if he retired now, that it wouldn't count against the cap next year.

Mr.ThunderMakeR
02-04-2006, 10:12 PM
Glad to see another terrible saga in Pacers history finally end.

Though all of a sudden I do feel kind of bad for him. I wonder this: is there anything that he could have done differently to be successful and prevent these injuries? What do you guys think?

Shade
02-04-2006, 10:20 PM
Bye Bender. :(

pacerwaala
02-04-2006, 10:36 PM
good bye Jontathan Bender.

I wonder who owns the title of "Best Pacers pracitce player" now. It is either Gill or Pollard.

Los Angeles
02-04-2006, 10:37 PM
Glad to see another terrible saga in Pacers history finally end.

Though all of a sudden I do feel kind of bad for him. I wonder this: is there anything that he could have done differently to be successful and prevent these injuries? What do you guys think?
I doubt it. S*** happens. Even to nice people.

SoupIsGood
02-04-2006, 10:41 PM
Pacers gave Jon a great send-off with this game. So long Bender, good luck with life and such

Outlaw
02-04-2006, 10:44 PM
It's sad for Bender....:(


I'm waiting for Bball to give JB a heartfelt farewell.;)

317Kim
02-04-2006, 10:50 PM
Gotta feel bad for ya JB. I know you were frustarated but believe me, you weren't the only one. Good luck with all :)

DisplacedKnick
02-04-2006, 11:25 PM
So a great athlete and mediocre basketball player retires. If he'd gone for high jumping, would his knees have fallen apart?

Anyway - Pacers are having a good couple of weeks - trade Ron, Bender retires and you beat Detroit. Congrats everyone.

N8R
02-04-2006, 11:25 PM
Tis a shame. Wish we could have seen the potential.

Harmonica
02-04-2006, 11:33 PM
Anyway - Pacers are having a good couple of weeks - trade Ron, Bender retires and you beat Detroit. Congrats everyone.

That's what I'm talking about. All this dumping on JO right after what is probably our biggest win of the season so far.

Pacesetter
02-04-2006, 11:38 PM
JB, if you are out there somewhere, I got somethn to say to you bro:

I cried the day I heard your knees were done, and I tell ya from the bottom of my heart I love ya, bro! It will always be something I hold in the same light as the career's of both Landon Turner (IU), and our Pacers' broadcaster, former Forward, Clark Kellogg. I've never forgot Landon, and what that did to me when he was injured in a car wreck, never forgot the injury riddled knees of my main man, Special K, and I'll NEVER forget you JB! It hurts, but with everything there is a reason, my brother!

Take care, and stay close to your home here in Indy!!!

Peace! :usa:

Kegboy
02-04-2006, 11:43 PM
What was Bball's sig, something about asking the last person to jump off the bandwagon to turn the lights off? I said I'd drive it into the ground, so I guess it's my job to put it in park and turn off the engine.

I knew this was coming, but this hurts me like Ron being traded hurts UB.

In my 7 years getting tickets, the best game I saw was game 4 of the Finals, which we of course lost. The next best game was the overtime win against Milwaukee, in '02 during the 7-game closing streak, which gave us the tie-breaker over the Bucks that got us into the postseason. JB owned that game. This wasn't the fabled Christmas game, where he had 20 but gave up 40. Artest was in foul trouble, so JB came in and just obliterated Robinson on both ends of the court. Without that, we never would have made the playoffs and had that great series against NJ. One of the best all-around performances I've ever seen. Hopefully someday that game will be available through this NBA archiving initiative.

Good luck Johnny.

Ralph Snart
02-04-2006, 11:45 PM
Sicknote, good luck my man.

Pig Nash
02-05-2006, 12:34 AM
I'm sure he'll be sad with all his money, just like Phil Mickelson was sad he hadn't won a major. (until he did)

Moses
02-05-2006, 12:45 AM
Well, At least he retired on an extremely classy note and had nothing but praise for the Pacers organization, players, and fans.

Los Angeles
02-05-2006, 02:18 AM
That's what I'm talking about. All this dumping on JO right after what is probably our biggest win of the season so far.
"All this dumping"?

I hope you're not including me in that generalization. Seeing a solid win like this with a wonderfully up-tempo scheme should have everyone wondering how the team will play when Jermaine returns.

He was supposed to blend in when he returned last year, and - you guessed it - the team went right back to bad habits.

This isn't "dumping" on JO, this is real discussion about the future play of our team.

There's no hate of Jermaine in most of the posts addressing this issue, in fact I think he's a great basketball player.

These wins, along with shedding Bender AND Artest are cause to celebrate and dream of the future of our team. We're seeing something special. The questions are part of the celebration, not contrary to it.

Raskolnikov
02-05-2006, 02:46 AM
:( That's a hard decision to make for JB, for anyone.

I wish him the best of luck with his future.

N8R
02-05-2006, 03:18 AM
A Little more Info on the Bender situation


Pacers' Bender says he won't play again because of knee injuries
By CLIFF BRUNT, Associated Press Writer
February 4, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana Pacers forward Jonathan Bender is almost certain his career is over because of a series of knee injuries.

"Due to a medical condition in my knees, I will not be able to continue playing basketball," the 25-year-old forward said Saturday in a statement released by the team. "The Pacers gave me the chance to play with, and against, the best players in the world."

Though he does not expect to play again, Bender has not yet filed official retirement papers with the NBA.

Toronto made Bender the fifth pick in the 1999 draft, then traded him to Indiana before the season started. He played seven seasons with the Pacers, but never in every game. His best season was in 2001-2002, when he averaged 7.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.

The 7-foot Bender also played guard at times. He made 87 3-pointers in his career. As a defender, he was an intimidating shot blocker.

Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said Bender is a hard worker who appreciated the chance to play in the NBA.

"I'm sad for him, for his family," Carlisle said. "A situation like this couldn't happen to a more undeserving person. Jonathan really is a great kid. He wanted to play basketball in the worst way and he wanted to help this franchise in the worst way."

When healthy, Bender presented mismatches and was a force on the boards. But he rarely was able to contribute. He played in 237 regular-season games with 27 starts, and was limited to nine games the past two seasons.

"It'll be one of the questions when you look back in history. How good could this guy have been?" Carlisle said. "I'm not sure that there was any limit to his potential. It was just not to be."

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AtcXJ7UPdsVBMUbfCxiWhtG8vLYF?slug=ap-pacers-benderretires&prov=ap&type=lgns

denyfizle
02-05-2006, 04:03 AM
it's really sad... JB had such a GREAT upside. He could've been easily one of the top 5 players in the league by now. *sigh* and he's a good dude too. can i cry now? good luck JB!!! you may not have played a lot of games for us but each single one was worth it!!!

Mourning
02-05-2006, 05:26 AM
It's good for the franchise Bender has taken this decision. Until the beginning of last season I was on his bandwagon and I always saw him as the "little" boy that came to the Pacers, so I am sad that he has to retire, but like said he had too.

I can only wish him all the best in whatever he's going to be active in now.

Bye Bendy, here's to you :cheers: :brilliant

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

SycamoreKen
02-05-2006, 09:55 AM
I'm sorry that JB never had the chance to be the player he wanted to be. I know that I questioned his heart at times and appologize for thinking he was dogging it when he really was hurting.

He was behind the 8 ball from the beginning seeing as how we traded one of our most popular players for him at a time we were contending, not rebuilding. I'm sure he wanted to prove his worth as much as we wnated him to. I hope he has used his money wisely to provide for himself after his career.

I was at at flea market yesterday and saw an autographed JB rookie card in a case. I shook my head sadly knowing that he was done, and that was before I had heard about the retirement.

Pig Nash
02-05-2006, 01:53 PM
I don't think he failed for lack of trying. I think it was a combination of his youth, his lack of basketball IQ, and some poorly diagnosed injuries that just got too far.

GO!!!!!
02-05-2006, 06:56 PM
Sad to see you go Big Man, i still remember the day you where drafted, the management was to high on you and it's sad to see you never got the chance to show the rest of us, your a great person and I hope you stay in Indy as a Scout or Jr Coach

respect Jonathan...

OnlyPacersLeft
02-05-2006, 07:36 PM
he came back way too early most times. Hell he got all that money out of high school for nothing...he can chill for the rest of his life. Unreal..

Pointz
02-06-2006, 07:19 PM
Too bad he had loads of unreached potential. Did he already file the paperwork?

Frank Slade
02-06-2006, 07:27 PM
Too bad he had loads of unreached potential. Did he already file the paperwork?

Bender will not actually file the Retirement Paperwork, so he will continue to collect from this current contract. The Pacers are petitioning the league for a Medical Exemption...for Salary Relief

larry
02-06-2006, 11:00 PM
dude wore alot of bling on the bench. hopefully state farm buys his next chain! peace

Mr.ThunderMakeR
02-07-2006, 02:24 AM
Whats the F for in "Pacers F Bender"?

Bball
02-07-2006, 02:29 AM
Whats the F for in "Pacers F Bender"?

"Forward"

:tsk:

I guess now that he's finished they finally decided to label him. For years we were told he was everything from a SG to the ball boy.

-Bball

Mr.ThunderMakeR
02-07-2006, 02:55 AM
Ahhh, its been so long since Ive seen him play I must of forgot what position he played lol.

DisplacedKnick
02-07-2006, 06:42 AM
Ahhh, its been so long since Ive seen him play I must of forgot what position he played lol.


Well, let's see ...

Shooting Guard
Small Forward
Power Forward
Center

And IIRC, I swear I saw something 4-5 years ago to the effect of "We may even use him a little at point guard." Or maybe I'm imagining it.

Good old Jon Bender - yet another reminder that being a great athlete does not automatically equal having basketball ability. At some point you have to have some skills.

He should have been a high jumper.

clownskull
02-07-2006, 10:22 PM
Well, let's see ...

Shooting Guard
Small Forward
Power Forward
Center

And IIRC, I swear I saw something 4-5 years ago to the effect of "We may even use him a little at point guard." Or maybe I'm imagining it.

Good old Jon Bender - yet another reminder that being a great athlete does not automatically equal having basketball ability. At some point you have to have some skills.

He should have been a high jumper.

yeh, i think that too. i think he could have been a truly awesome- perhaps world quality highjumper. with his height and super-springy leaping ability, he really could have been pretty amazing and i doubt it would have taken the toll on his knees like hoops did. i have been pretty vocal on the "lets get this resolved pease!!" type of thing but, it is sad to see a guy like him with so many interesting possibilities- not ever being able to stay healthy and come even remotely close to realizing his potential.
well, he still gets his money and the pacers get to finaly move forward. i am pleased this is now over with.

Anthem
02-07-2006, 10:44 PM
He did play point guard for a several-game stretch in the preseason under Zeke. Travis and Rose were both out, and we hadn't yet drafted Tinsley.

He was actually supposedly decent at it, which was surprising to me. It was a preseason game so I didn't see it, but he posted a decent line and the opposing guard didn't go off on him.

D-BONE
02-07-2006, 11:00 PM
Whats the F for in "Pacers F Bender"?

Farewell. Too bad it didn't work out, JB.