Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press reported yesterday that long-time Blazer Joel Przybilla has officially retired from the NBA.
Przybilla came to Portland as a free agent after four underwhelming seasons in Milwaukee and Atlanta, then slowly built a reputation as a center who took care of the "dirty work" inside. He was rewarded with a 5 year, $32 million contract. Despite injury troubles in his first few seasons, he became a durable part of Portland's rotation, and "Plan B" when #1 pick Greg Oden went down with injuries. Unfortunately Joel also went down, with a tear of the patella tendon in 2010, and a re-injury in the shower in March.
In the final year of his contract, Przybilla was traded with Dante Cunningham to the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) for Gerald Wallace. A few seasons later, Wallace was traded for the rights to the draft pick that became Damian Lillard. Przybilla returned to Portland for a short stint off the bench in the 2011-12 season.
The Blazers posted a highlight video this afternoon in honor of his retirement.
Feel free to discuss some of your memories of Joel's time in Portland in the comments.
-- Tim (with a hat tip to squeeky, who posted it in the Fanshots)