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Former Golden State Warriors forward Nemanja Bjelica has announced his retirement from professional basketball after a 20-year career. The 35-year-old Serbian star began his career playing for the Traiskirchen Lions in Austria before moving on to his native club Crvena zvezda. He was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NBA draft but opted to continue playing overseas until 2015, playing for teams in Spain and Turkey before making the jump to the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Bjelica also had stints with the Sacramento Kings and Miami Heat before joining the Warriors in 2021.

During his time with the Warriors, Bjelica played a key role in the team’s 2021-22 championship run, averaging 6.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 0.6 steals per game. His best season came in 2019-20 with the Sacramento Kings, where he averaged 11.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting over 40% from three-point range. After winning the NBA title with the Warriors, Bjelica returned to Fenerbahce Beko in Europe, but his second season was cut short due to a calf injury. He then signed with Crvena zvezda but left the team after a dispute with the head coach.

Bjelica’s retirement marks the end of a successful career that saw him compete at the highest levels of basketball both in Europe and the NBA. Throughout his career, he was known for his sharpshooting ability, versatility, and basketball IQ, making him a valuable asset to any team he played for. His decision to retire comes after years of hard work and dedication to the sport, and he leaves behind a legacy as a respected and accomplished player.

As Bjelica looks back on his 20-year basketball journey, he expressed gratitude for the sport that has been a central part of his life. His announcement on Instagram was met with an outpouring of support and appreciation from fans, teammates, and fellow athletes who recognized his contributions to the game. Bjelica’s retirement serves as a reminder of the physical and mental toll that professional basketball can take on players, as well as the bittersweet moment of saying goodbye to a sport that has been a defining part of his identity for two decades.

While his retirement may mark the end of his playing days, Bjelica’s impact on the game will continue to be felt through his influence on younger players, his championship pedigree, and the memories he created on the court. As he transitions into the next phase of his life, Bjelica can take pride in his achievements and the lasting legacy he leaves behind in the basketball world. His announcement serves as a reminder of the fleeting nature of a professional athlete’s career and the importance of cherishing every moment on the court. Bjelica’s retirement is a poignant reminder of the power of sports to bring people together, create lasting memories, and inspire future generations of athletes.

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