Share

2022 Champion Nemanja Bjelica Retiring

[ad_1]

A key former Golden State Warriors role player during the team’s 2021-22 title run is hanging up his sneakers. Sharpshooting veteran forward Nemanja Bjelica has taken to his personal Instagram to announce that he is calling it a career. He’s had quite the run.

“20 years… Thank you basketball,” Bjelica wrote yesterday. As far as his professional career trajectory goes, the 6’10” stretch four got his start playing for the Austrian League’s Traiskirchen Lions in 2007. The 35-year-old Serbian star then logged two seasons with his native club Crvena zvezda.

He was drafted in the second round of the 2010 NBA draft. Instead of heading over immediately, however, Bjelica continued to ply his trade abroad until 2015. After being drafted, he began a three-year stint with Spanish team Saski Baskonia, from 2010-13. He then linked up with Turkish club Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, winning the EuroLeague MVP during his second season with the franchise. Following this, Bjelica opted to make the NBA jump, linking up with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He subsequently played for the Sacramento Kings and Miami Heat before linking up with the Warriors in 2021.

Draymond Green Jordan Poole Nemanja Bjelica
Draymond Green #23 celebrates a play with teammates Jordan Poole #3 and Nemanja Bjelica #8 of the Golden State Warriors during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the 2022 NBA…


Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Bjelica averaged 6.1 points on .468/.362/.728 shooting splits while with the Warriors during his regular season championship run, along with 4.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 0.6 steals. He enjoyed his best season as a starter for the lottery-bound Sacramento Kings in 2019-20. In 72 contests (67 starts), he averaged 11.5 points on .481/.419/.821 shooting splits (that elite three point percentage arrived on 4.4 triple tries a night), 6.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.6 blocks per bout.

Bjelica returned to the scene of his EuroLeague MVP while still basking in the glow of his NBA championship run for Golden State. He inked a two-year contract to return to Fenerbahce Beko, but missed much of the year with a calf injury. He was cut by the team ahead of what would have been his second season back, in 2023-24. Bjelica then agreed to a contract to return to his native Crvena zvedza again, but before he could play a game for the club, he apparently got into a dispute with head coach Duško Ivanović, and left the team for good.