Dooling Explains Retirement Decision
At 32 years old, he (Keyon Dooling) still has miles left in his legs and plenty of shots to hit. He could have entered his 13th season if he wanted to. But he doesn’t anymore.
A wave of surprise hit the league last week when the Boston Celtics announced they had waived Dooling and he would be retiring from the game. Why? Why would a passionate player who loves basketball — and, just as importantly, the Celtics organization and his teammates — hang it all up when he had the opportunity to play on a squad he believes will win it all this season?
Sometimes the biggest factors in an athlete’s life have nothing to do with the sport he or she plays. In this case, Dooling’s decision to leave the NBA didn’t have much to do with basketball at all.
“It just all came to a head. To be honest with you, I blocked a lot of things out of my life. I’m a man who’s been abused, sexually, emotionally, mentally. I’ve been abused in my life, and there’s so many guys around the NBA who have been abused and I know it because I’ve been their therapist. I didn’t even have the courage because I blocked it out so much that I couldn’t even share that . . .
“It took literally a meltdown for everybody to see how serious I was about not playing ball anymore.”