Jon Bender retires
The following is a statement from Indiana Pacers’ forward Jonathan Bender:
“Due to a medical condition in my knees, I will not be able to continue playing basketball. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.”
Bender played six seasons with the Pacers, but was plagued by injuries. His best season was 2001-02 when he played 78 games, averaging 7.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. He played just two games this season before chronic soreness in his left knee sidelined him. Bender was the Toronto Raptors’ first-round draft pick (fifth overall) in the 1999 NBA draft. The Pacers acquired him Aug. 8, 1999, from the Raptors in exchange for Antonio Davis.
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