McDyess Says There's a Good Chance He'll Retire After Next Season
The San Antonio big man said in an interview with FanHouse before Saturday's game at Denver there's a good chance next season will be his last in the NBA.
"Next year, definitely," McDyess, 35, said of playing a 16th NBA season in 2010-11. "Then it's really going to be tough (to keep playing). It's been tough on my body just playing. That would be 17 years (if McDyess fulfilled the life of his contract) ... Personally, I don't think I'll have it after next year. Just the get up about myself playing ... My odds are no (about playing beyond next season).''
McDyess, who signed with the Spurs last summer as a free agent and is averaging 5.8 points and 5.9 rebounds, is making $4.5 million this season and due to earn $4.86 million next season. He's under contract for $5.22 million for 2011-12, but said only $2.5 million of that is guaranteed.
McDyess originally was under contract to make $6.8 million this season, but that deal was torn up, along with the $6.8 million McDyess was due last season, after he was traded from Detroit to Denver in November 2008. McDyess didn't want to play for the Nuggets and agreed to a total buyout of $6 million.
McDyess then re-signed with Detroit for a minimum salary, getting about $1 million more for last season. Considering the roughly $7.5 million McDyess lost in his buyout, the money he recouped last season from Detroit and the $4.5 million he got for this season from the Spurs, McDyess lost about $2 million.
But he doesn't view it that way.
"I lost a little bit (of money),'' said McDyess, who had five points and nine rebounds in San Antonio's 104-85 rout of the Nuggets. "But I thought honestly I was going to retire after this year. So I feel that I made it up in the market because I'm going to play another year. That's how I look at it.
"So I'm going another year. I'm just thinking that, if I had played out (the original contract that expired after this season), wasn't nobody going to sign me to another five-year deal at $5 million (a season). So getting out of the last year, the way I played (last season) and getting another two years, I thought that was good.''
McDyess has an Olympic gold medal and an All-Star appearance, but he's still missing a title ring. McDyess, whose Pistons lost in Game 7 of the 2005 NBA Finals to San Antonio, covets one but might not hang around after next season with just that in mind.
"I definitely want the ring,'' he said. "But, if I don't get it, I just feel I had a great career regardless.''
Count teammate Richard Jefferson as one who won't be surprised if McDyess walks away after next season. Jefferson wouldn't even be surprised if McDyess retired this summer.
"He doesn't want to play forever,'' Jefferson said. "He's been very fortunate to sign some large contracts in his career. And knowing him on a personal level it doesn't seem like (McDyess plays for the) money. He's playing right now for the love of the game. So he's not playing to get a paycheck or anything like that. He wanted to come here and play with a quality team and quality organization. ... I wouldn't be surprised if he quit after this year. You never know with him.''
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he hasn't had any discussions with McDyess about his possible willingness to retire with money left on his contract. For now, Popovich is thrilled with what McDyess, who has been starting at center, has been able to provide the Spurs.
"He's a pro,'' Popovich said. "He's somebody that does his work and he goes home. He likes to work hard and he does it the right way. He's a classy guy. He's been a good teammate, and on the court he makes shots and he's a tough defender and rebounder. So he's been wonderful for us.''
After his work is done next season, McDyess might go home for good.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson