NBA veteran Joel Przybilla retires after sitting out 2013-14 season


joel-przybillaVeteran NBA center Joel Przybilla has retired from the NBA after not playing at all during the 2013-14 season, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Przybilla last played for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2012-13. He now resides in the Milwaukee area, where he began his NBA career in 2000.

The 7’1″ Przybilla was well-regarded for his work on the boards, having led the league during the 2008/09 season in total rebound percentage, a measure of the percentage of rebounds a player grabbed while on the floor, according to Basketball-Reference.

He was a fan favorite in Portland for his defense, hard work and dependability. Affectionately known as “Vanilla Gorilla”, Przybilla set the Trail Blazers all-time record for rebounds in a regulation game (26) in 2008. He also shares the franchise record for most blocked shots in a game (9), set at Seattle on April 2, 2006. In each of his first two seasons in Portland (2004-05, 2005-06), Przybilla ranked seventh in the NBA in blocks per game.

Przybilla was a 1998 McDonald’s All-American who attended the University of Minnesota before the Rockets picked him ninth overall in the 2000 draft. Houston promptly traded his rights to the Bucks, the team that will go down as the one with which he both made his debut and played his final game.

Przybilla signed a five-year, $32 million contract with the Trail Blazers in 2006 – a big payday, but a deal Przybilla struggled to justify on the court. Eventually, his contract was used to facilitate the ill-fated trade of Gerald Wallace to Portland from Charlotte.

He played for Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Portland TrailBlazers, Charlotte Bobcats during his career, where he played 592 games, starting in 397 0f them. Przybilla holds career averages of 3.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg and 1.4 bpg in 19.8 mpg.

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