Don’t call it a comeback! Mainly because there won’t be one. Former Jazz guard, Raja Bell, has officially said that he is retired from the NBA. Something that most people could see coming for quite some time.
Bell spent 12 seasons in the NBA, four of those with the Utah Jazz. In those seasons in Utah, Bell had averages of 9.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. Those numbers are pretty close to what he averaged throughout most of his career.
Bell’s final seasons in Utah were rocky ones. Bell was upset with Coach Tyrone Corbin in 2011 over his move to the bench. More problems occurred the following season when Bell lashed out at Corbin in front of the team in the locker room following a loss at the Philadelphia 76ers. Following that outburst, the Jazz suspended Bell for the following game against the Chicago Bulls, and Bell was sent home early from the road trip.
That season, during locker room cleanout, Bell vocally criticized Corbin more saying that he thought the way he was handled by Corbin was “unprofessional.” That season, Bell was the only healthy Jazz player not to receive any minutes in the playoffs.
After all that happened, Bell was still under contract with the Jazz for another season, but the Jazz and Bell had agreed that it was best if he stayed away from the team. The Jazz had no takers on the trade market for Bell and the Jazz finally decided to waive the veteran shooting guard. Bell was put on waivers and after clearing waivers he was able to sign with any team that he chose, but no team called interested in the guard’s services.
Now Bell, 37, has officially said that he doesn’t have any interest in coming back. In an interview with Talkin Hoopz, Bell had this to say:
Earlier this year I shut it down. I’m 37, I have three boys, I do miss it, but physically it wasn’t realistic for me to keep training and keep putting my body through what I’ve been putting it through for the last 20 years. To be ready to help somebody in the playoffs, you have to be trained and have to be in shape. Not training, not having been in the gym for the last month, I wouldn’t entertain anything like that. I’d be flattered, but I’d have to say no because I don’t think I’d be able to live up to my end of the bargain at this point. I’m enjoying retirement, and trying to find out what the next chapter is going to hold for me.
They say “once a Jazz man, always a Jazz man”, but some people may take exception to that with the way things went down with Bell. It was ugly, but he did have some good moments while he spent his time in Utah. Here is wishing Raja Bell a happy retirement and enjoy it!
Sources for this article include Talkin Hoopz, Deseret News, and Basketball Reference.