Retired NBA Players: Where are they now?

Peter Cavanaugh

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Come on, be straight. If you have a job, you're spending most of your day taking fatuous Buzzfeed quizzes and running to the toilet so you can click through Tinder for a solid twenty minutes. Your left hand is perma-fixed over the alt+tab combo, lest a superior hovers by.

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Since you're doing anything but work, you should probably take an hour or three and head over to Sham Sports. They put up their somewhat annual look at retired NBA players. The list is nothing if not thorough, with updates on former perennial all-stars like Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady to those who don't even have a Wikipedia entry like Scott Merritt and Sean Sonderleiter. The whole project is quite amazing. There's no fluff, no recapitulation of a player's past accomplishments. Each entry simply reads with one or two lines about the most recent news they could find.

Wally Szczerbiak? “Works as an analyst for both the Knicks and CBS.” How about Antoine Walker? “Has made a documentary about himself, and wants a coaching gig. Also plans to write a book. Antoine Walker really wants to tell Antoine Walker's side of the Antoine Walker story.”

Aside from the occasional fun trivia buried in this exhausting catalog, such as Maceo Baston's new role as a cupcake shop owner, is the spookiness when no information is found for a specific player. Because this list is so complete, when you read Brandon Armstrong's entry for example–”cannot be traced”–you can't help but hypothesize what sinister ending he has met. Also, as Sham Sports has done this list for a couple of years, there's the opportunity for an athlete to resurface. What once was a dubious entry for Mark Blount–”unheard of, save for a story about renegotiating child support payments”–gets turned into a feel good story within a year's time: “Auntie Anne’s, the world’s largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise, recently announced retired NBA star Mark Blount as its newest franchise partner.” Or take Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje: while he made 2012's list with the unfortunate news of a recently discovered heart condition that forced his early retirement, his entry in this year's list states that he's going back to Georgetown to get his masters.

Lists are one of the many shitty outgrowths of this page view-hungry culture, but this is one of the best things you will read all day. It's text-heavy, which is great for the office, and there's no click-through garbage teasing you one entry at a time. It's just a beautifully boring word document that is sure to send you into a warm bubble of nostalgia. Your day may not be much better knowing Pat Garrity now deals with hedge funds, but it won't be any worse.

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