Hey lovelies, thank you so much. Retiring is the hardest thing to do, but thank you for your support. I’m going to miss this game so much
Lauren Jackson’s excellence was never bad for the game and I was never bored watching her. I will so miss the on-court nightmare she was.
It hardly seems fair Jackson was unable to bow out on her own terms, with knee injuries taking that right from her.
As a result of the ongoing problems, her WNBA side, the Seattle Storm, was without the superstar for three consecutive seasons, leaving a pockmark on her legacy there.
Even so, the 34-year-old will be remembered as one of basketball’s best players with a wide-ranging skill set that made her an unstoppable scoring threat, a tenacious rebounder and a dominant defensive presence.
She had been named on Australia’s Opals extended squad for Rio, but recent fitness testing and medical advice convinced her she should not continue playing.
“It really is so surreal retiring here where it all began 19 years ago,” Jackson said. “Today I’m announcing my retirement from the love of my life, basketball. Two years ago I hurt my knee playing in China … my knee ended up degenerating really, really fast, I got arthritis pretty quickly and since then I’ve had multiple surgeries.”
‘Today I’m announcing my retirement from the love of my life – basketball,’ she said, the emotion evident in her voice.
‘It took me all over the world, gave me friendships that will last forever, so thank you for everyone for being here… for giving me this opportunity to say goodbye.’
She managed to do something with her sport that no other Australian has ever replicated. She dominated in the United States.
In a country that prides itself on garnering the best talent from across the globe, to join some of the most competitive, and successful, leagues of all-time; Jackson reigned supreme.
“She became Australia’s crown jewel,” former Australian Boomers coach, Brett Brown, told foxsports.com.au.
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Lauren Jackson’s father played basketball for Australia. So did her mother.
Growing up around the sport and playing from an early age, she seemed destined to follow in the footsteps of her parents.
But at 12, Jackson’s performance at a Country Cup suggested that maybe she didn’t want that life. Her parents twigged and told her she didn’t have to keep playing.
Jackson’s response should go down in the folklore of Australian sport, given she is arguably the best basketballer the nation has ever produced.
She went to her room, sat at her computer, and – as the story goes – typed: “From this day on, nothing will stand in my way.”
Lauren Jackson did many things well on a basketball court, but hiding her emotions wasn’t one of them. In between celebratory smiles, Jackson was full of entirely too much frustration caused by the injuries that ultimately forced her to retire from basketball this week at age 34.
If you were building the ideal basketball player in a lab, you might want to start with Jackson. At 6 feet, 6 inches, the Australian legend was one of the tallest players in the WNBA throughout her 12-year career, yet she was also one of the league’s most dangerous outside shooters. Jackson’s combination of skills drew comparisons to NBA star Dirk Nowitzki, but Nowitzki couldn’t match Jackson — the 2007 defensive player of the year — in terms of impact at both ends of the court.