14 Jan

Former NBA All-Star Goran Dragic retires after 15 seasons; plans to have retirement game with Doncic, Jokic

Former NBA All-Star Goran Dragic has revealed the impressive lineup of players participating in the two-day farewell event he’s hosting to celebrate his retirement in August. He built a lot of connections while playing for seven franchises during his 15-year career, and he made sure to include as many big-time former teammates and countrymen as he could. Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, Luis Scola, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jimmy Butler are among the most notable names.

“I wanted to bring all the stars I played with,” Dragic told Sport Klub on Thursday.

The event will take place in Slovenia in August of 2024 and will include a game with the aforementioned names, according to reports out of his native country. Dragic additionally held a press conference on Jan. 4, where spoke along with Zoran Janković, the mayor of Ljubljana — Slovenia’s capital and Dragic’s hometown.

After turning pro at the age of 17, Dragic enjoyed a number of successful seasons in Slovenia and Spain before declaring for the NBA Draft. He was selected No. 45 overall in 2008 by the San Antonio Spurs, but was traded to the Suns a few days later for Malik Hairston, cash and a 2009 second-round draft pick.

He played sparingly in his first few seasons, but started to make a name for himself in the 2010 playoffs, when he helped the Suns reach the Western Conference finals. Even so, he was traded to the Houston Rockets at the 2011 deadline, though that turned out to be a short-lived partnership. When Dragic became a free agent in 2012, he re-signed with the Suns.

His second stint in Phoenix is when his career really started to take off. In 2014, he won Most Improved Player and made the first and only All-NBA appearance of his career — a 3rd Team selection — after averaging 20.9 points and 5.9 assists per game on 50.5% shooting from the field. The Suns missed the playoffs that season despite winning 48 games.

The next season, Dragic was once again on the move. This time, he was traded to the Miami Heat along with his brother, Zoran. In the summer of 2015, he cashed in on his success, signing a five-year, $90 million deal, which was the biggest contract of his career. With the Heat, he made his first and only All-Star appearance in 2018 and helped the team make the Finals during the 2020 bubble season. Unfortunately, he suffered a plantar fascia injury in Game 1 and missed four of the six games as the Heat were defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ahead of the 2021 season, Dragic was traded to the Toronto Raptors in the Kyle Lowry deal, which began his odyssey around the league. Over the next few seasons he suited up for the Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls and Bucks.

In addition to his NBA career, Dragic had plenty of success on the international stage. Most notably, he led Slovenia to its first ever EuroBasket title in 2017 and won MVP of the tournament.

Dragic finishes his career with averages of 13.3 points, three rebounds and 4.7 assists across 946 games played (530 starts)

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