Former Texas standout and current Spur has decided to call it a career. Normally I don’t write about basketball but I’ll make exception for this since I was a fan of Ford when he was in college. True he was not on the same level as say a Kevin Durrant, but he sure was a lot of fun to watch. Plus some would argue that without him attending the U of Texas, they would have never had a chance to recruit a Durrant or someone like LaMarcus Aldridge.
He led his Texas team to a Final Four appearance in his sophomore season and suddenly Texas basketball was on the map, not only as a solid basketball school, but as a potential powerhouse. He was drafted by the Bucks in 2003 and just 55 games into his rookie season he had a collision with Mark Madsen and fell sharply on his tailbone. He lost feeling in his lower body and was immobilized.
He ended up missing the entire next season recovering from a spinal fusion. Doctors advised him to never play again. He did though and went on playing for another eight seasons. He never really developed into the franchise point guard many envisioned him to be, mainly because of his spinal injury leaving him tepid about his usually hard play. He has since played for the Raptors, the Pacers and the Spurs. On March 7th, against the Knicks he got elbowed in the back and hit the ground again losing feeling in his legs. In any other situation, it’s just a regular play that you don’t think twice about. For Ford though, it brought him back nearly a decade to when the first injury happened.
Today he tweeted that his career was over. He decided to walk away from the game before it was too late to walk away. I can’t say I blame him, actually to be honest I probably would have walked away after the 2003 surgery. As for his autographed cards on eBay they can be had for between $1.50 and $5. He was never a star in the Association but he definitely had heart. He can walk away knowing he gave it all he could and doesn’t have to worry about how the next hard foul could have landed him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Good luck TJ and thanks for the memories!