DALLAS – Shawn Marion looked at the many miles he’s put on his body, and the way injuries have started to betray his body, and knew it was time to hang up his sneakers.
Thus, back on Jan. 15, Marion announced that he would retire from the NBA at the conclusion of this season following a stellar 16-year career. And it was not a decision Marion made haphazardly.
"I’ve had a wonderful career,’ Marion said after Tuesday morning’s shootaround at American Airlines Center. "It’s not quite just over yet, but I think it’s time.
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"I can’t play ball forever. Sooner or later it’s got to come to an end, and I felt like my body is telling me to just to go ahead and shut it down.’’
Marion played for the Mavs from 2009 through last season when -- during last summer -- they decided to go in another direction. While the Mavs signed Chandler Parsons to a three-year, $46 million contract, Marion went on to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But just because Marion is playing elsewhere doesn’t mean the bond between him and the Mavs are broken.
The Mavs have a special video tribute planned in honor of Marion which likely will be shown in the first half of tonight’s game between the Cavs and Dallas, which tips off at 7:30 at AAC. It’s a special moment in time Marion will undoubtedly soak all in.
So what’s the over and under on the chances of Marion dropping a few tears tonight during or immediately after the video tribute?
"I am definitely an emotional guy, to a certain degree,’’ Marion said. "Everything touches in certain different ways, but I’ll try to contain myself a little bit.
"But it’s a blessing just to be able to play this game as long as I have and be a part of a great league and contribute the way I have.’’
Owner Mark Cuban said he has a job waiting on Marion once he retires. It’s an ideal Marion is receptive to.
"I think I definitely know a lot about this game, and I definitely can give back to it in certain aspects of it,’’ Marion said. ‘I don’t know to what extent yet, but I definitely want to pass what I’ve learned and what I can do help the game prolong itself.’’
A 6-7 small forward with freakish athletic abilities, Marion is the only player in NBA history with at least 15,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 1,000 blocks and 500 3-pointers. He is as versatile as they come, and can effectively guard four positions on the court.
"He’s one of the all-time great Mavericks, there's no question about it,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. "His contributions over the five years were gigantic, to a championship to a consistent level of success.
"He’s a guy that's a special guy. He's building a home here in Dallas to live after his career, and that's cool a guy feels to make his permanent home here, and he'll be welcomed here by the people of Dallas.’’
Marion, who will turn 37 on May 7, played a major role when the Mavs defeated the Miami Heat in six games to capture the 2011 NBA title. It’s the only championship in Mavs’ history and one that will forever link Marion to one of the greatest moments in the illustrious chapter of DFW sports.
"It was a great accomplishment and it was something that as a player you strive for when you put on a jersey in the NBA,’’ Marion said. "I was able to reach that ultimate goal with a great group of guys, and it speaks for itself.
"I think the city and everybody knows and felt that vibe and felt what it felt like for us. And they were with us for the whole ride, and it was awesome.’’