Following an illustrious career spanning over two decades, Argentine baskebetall legend Andres Nocioni has announced that he will retire at the end of this competitive season.
A key part of Argentina’s fabled ‘golden generation; that which took second place at the FIBA World Cup in Indianápolis in 2002, before taking gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the 37 year-old forward tweeted the announcement with an open letter.
Hola a todos! He tomado una decisión sobre la temporada que viene, acá está: pic.twitter.com/BeREGequye
— Andrés Nocioni (@SoyElChapu) 3 de abril de 2017
Referencing his fiery attitude, Nocioni said: “After so many battles, I have decided to stop slamming my water bottle to the floor every time I`m substituted… I have to progress…Enough of fighting with rivals, enough of sleepless nights…it`s over.
“I have to improve my conduct, my habits. And as it`s very clear to me that I won`t be able to change my temperament, I`M RETIRING. I`m going before they throw me out.”
Following his team`s monumental victory over favorites USA in the 2004 Olympic games final, Nocioni went on to enjoy a lengthy and successful career both in Europe and the NBA.
“El Chapu” joined Chicago Bulls as a rookie free-agent in light of his impressive performances in Athens, joining fellow countrymen Manu Ginobili and Carlos Delfino in the world`s most prestigious league.
There he remained for five years, earning the award for the Bulls`Player of The Year in the 2005-06 season and plaudits for his aggressive style.
From there, Nocioni featured for Sacramento Kings and the Philadelphia 76ers before heading back to Argentina to play for Peñarol de Mar del Plata. He then transferred to Spain, eventually signing for Real Madrid. He won the Spanish league twice there, as well as the European title and the competition’s MVP award in 2015.
Despite playing through an injury, Nocioni helped El Alma (the basketball national team’s nickname) to bronze at the 2008 Olympics, and enjoyed success at last summer`s Games in Rio. As well as notching 37 points over South American rivals Brazil and sending his team to the quarter-finals, Nocioni averaged 15 points and 6 rebounds throughout the competition.
“I leave basketball in the manner that I wanted to do so, competing at the highest level in Europe and in a world class club.”
“On this journey, I have accomplished many dreams, dreams that I never imagined when I started playing. My top aspiration was to play in Europe and not only did I do that, but I also added a spell in the NBA,” his letter continues.
“I arrived further than I expected. I shared teams with the world’s top players and I faced others that I had only seen in photographs. I found myself at the top of the Olympic podium with the jersey that I love the most on an afternoon that I will never forget,” he adds.
Nocioni will no doubt go down as one of Argentina`s sporting greats, thanks to his charisma and qualities at both ends of the basketball court.
Se retira un grande. Gracias Chapu por tantos años de amor a la Selección. Les dejamos nuestro homenaje. https://t.co/fKrPghZVb2
— CABB (@cabboficial) 3 de abril de 2017
“One of the greats retires. Thank you Chapu for so many years of love for the national team. Here’s our homage to him”, reads the tweet from the Argentine Basketball Confederation.