The Sacramento Kings once had a great basketball team, and Peja Stojakovic was one of the many faces of the franchise. Today he retired from the NBA at the ripe old age of 34. Stojakovic had been battling with injuries for the latter half of his career, and fresh off his first NBA title, it made perfect sense for him to go out on top.
Stojakovic began his career in the NBA in 1998, when he was drafted by Geoff Petrie with the 14th pick in the first round of the draft. Stojakovic had a great run with the Kings, putting up huge numbers year after year. Peja averaged 20 points per game from 2000 to 2004, which coincides with the heyday of Sacramento's success as a franchise. In 2003-04, he finished in the top five of the MVP voting after an incredible season that saw him shoot 48% from the field, 43% from three-point territory, and 93% from the line (and at one point in the season was part of the rare 50-40-90 club).
Peja was considered by many of his contemporaries to be one of the best pure modern shooters in the game, right up there with luminaries like Ray Allen, Drazen Petrovic and George Gervin. His three point shot is one of the best in the game, and he will be missed.
It'll be interesting to see if the Kings decide to retire his jersey. Vlade Divac and Chris Webber recently had their jerseys hung up in the rafters, and it'd make sense for Stojakovic (who played longer than both of those stars in Sactown and was just as productive) to join them.
To discuss Peja and Kings basketball, head to Sactown Royalty.