Despite the wear and tear of four collegiate seasons, 11 NBA seasons and undergoing numerous surgeries, I remained hopeful that I would be able to rejoin my Jazz teammates on the court this season," Harpring said. "However, after consultations with the doctors and based on their recommendations, I have reluctantly come to the realization that my body can simply no longer withstand the rigors of NBA games and practices.
First of all, regardless of who it is, it's never good that an athlete has to retire early in their careers because of injuries and physically not being able to do the job anymore. But when some like Harpring that works as hard as he does and does everything he can to prepare himself and keep himself in great shape, it's disheartening. Yet there are other players that coast and waste a lot of their God-given talent and somehow are still in the league when they're 35+. Doesn't seem quite fair.
Matt appears to have moved on to the next phase of his life as he makes some appearances on NBA tv. It's funny that he's sitting in an Atlanta studio interviewing Maynor when he's suppose to be sitting next to him in the locker room.
Saddest of all though might be Sloan.
You'll notice though that he hasn't retired (though he effectively has), being able to keep his salary for this season. And why shouldn't he? He's worked his butt off for a lot of years, played last year when he probably shouldn't have, and tried everything he could to play this year before doctors told him that it would be affecting his long-term health if he did.
He can still help the Jazz though.
He and his expiring contract can be traded to a team looking for some late salary relief around the trade deadline. There may be a few teams with huge payrolls that might be out of it by then and are starting to plan for 2010-11.
I don't know how they get around the league's requirements that he has to report though since he's already calling it a season due to injury. There have been similar deals though. I guess it will depend on what type of mood Stern is in.
So bye Matt. There were of course frustrating moments for Jazz fans with your play, but the good out-weighed the bad. But everyone knew that you were giving it all every night and I think that's what fans will remember the most.