<
>

Mehmet Okur retires at age 33

Former NBA big man Mehmet Okur announced his retirement from basketball on Wednesday at the age of 33.

The 6-foot-11 Okur, who is from Turkey, averaged 13.5 points and 7 rebounds in 10 NBA seasons. He won an NBA title with the Detroit Pistons in 2004. He played in 17 games for the New Jersey Nets last season and was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers in the deal that brought Gerald Wallace to the now Brooklyn Nets. Portland waived him in March.

Okur said he was retiring because injuries have kept him from contributing at a high level.

"A player of certain level should say goodbye to the sport he loves when his body doesn't let him to be as he used to be," Okur said Wednesday, his comments carried by the Anadolu Agency in Turkey.

He played two seasons with the Pistons before joining the Jazz prior to the 2004-05 season when he agreed to a six-year, $50 million contract.

He finished his Jazz career ranking fourth on the franchise's career list for 3-pointers made (517), fifth for 3-pointers attempted (1,358), and ninth in scoring (7,255), rebounding (3,599) and blocked shots (346).

He represented the Jazz in the 2006-07 All-Star Game.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.