Skip to main content

James Posey on why he retired early “If you make a trade request, people say you’re spoiled, entitled or a quitter”


Every aging NBA player gets to a crossroads in his career - go to a contending team to win a title before retiring or serve as a mentor on a rebuilding franchise. James Posey shared his experience of reaching that crossroads and what eventually led to his early retirement. 

Posey’s early retirement

James Posey was one of the original stretch forwards: tough defender, rebounder, and outside shooter. He may not have reached superstar status in his days, but Posey was good at what he did. He had a respectable clip from beyond the rainbow arc and averaged more than 80% from the charity stripe. An NBA journeyman who played on several teams, Posey ended his career in the ‘10/’11 season. According to him, that was not by design. 

Posey, who won two titles, one with Miami Heat and one with Boston Celtics, is a contributor for Basketball News. In a recent story, he recalled what it’s like for players when December 15, the official start of trade season in the NBA, comes. 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

“The established superstars know that some of their teammates could be shipped out, while non-superstar players know they could be packing their bags.

Teams can trade you whenever they want, but as a player, if you make a trade request, people want to say that you’re spoiled or entitled or that you’re a quitter, things like that.”

James Posey,

Posey shared that he wanted to stay in New Orleans to play with David West and Chris Paul, but he was shipped to the rebuilding Indiana Pacers. When the coach that brought him in got fired, a young Frank Vogel clearly stated that James would not be in his plans. So the forward wanted a trade. However, the move backfired. Posey did not want a short contract as he was looking for more security, but no team wanted his services. After 12 years in the NBA, Posey decided the best thing to do was to retire.

Importance of player empowerment

Posey touched on an important aspect of life in the NBA today - player empowerment. Right now, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and James Harden have become poster boys for players wielding power as they see fit. During Posey’s time, players who wanted out were ridiculed. Durant, James, and Harden were all chastised for their decisions to leave the teams that drafted them. But they are now happy with the teams they chose to play for, having a much better chance of adding more rings to their legacy. 

If Posey had the clout to demand a trade in his time, he would have played with a contender and possibly added one or two championships more before calling it a career. However, this shows the discrepancy in power between veterans and role players and superstars in the league. 

The blueprint has been set for the young ones - work hard, reach individual goals such as All-Star games and help the team reach the postseason. It is only then that a player seems to earn the right to demand a trade if the front office fails to surround him with talent. It might not be fair to the team executives, but it’s also a way to bring back power to players in case of an unwanted trade - for instance, getting traded to the Pacers.

Michael Jordan more popular than Al Gore, Chelsea Clinton: Sesame Street poll

"I couldn’t do anything!" - Michael Jordan once named the only player he couldn't dominate

Michael Jordan loved the competition and he often dominated his rivals. But shockingly, he wasn't able to do so against one player.

The first time Larry Bird and Magic Johnson matched up in the NBA

Larry Bird pointed out his similarities with Magic Johnson: 'We were winners, there was no question about that'

Larry Bird talked about what he thinks were his similarities with his ultimate rival Magic Johnson.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar calls out Kyrie Irving

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar blasts Kyrie Irving for sharing an Alex Jones video: "Kyrie Irving would be dismissed as a comical buffoon if it weren’t for his influence"

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was incensed after Kyrie Irving’s deliberate attempt to sow misinformation and spread conspiracy theories among those who look up to him.

Grant Hill recalls competing against the original Dream Team

Grant Hill recalls beating the original Dream Team in a scrimmage game: "We already knew that no one would believe us if we told them"

Grant Hill reflects what it meant for him and other college players when they actually beat the original Dream Team before the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona in a scrimmage game

WWE star Logan Paul and Dwight Howard

WWE legend Triple H’s dare to Dwight Howard: “Be like Logan Paul, Bad Bunny, Tyson Fury”

Dwight Howard doesn't just want to be a run-of-the-mill professional wrestler.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett

"I’m still a Timberwolf until I die, as I am a Celtic" - Kevin Garnett addresses rift with Minnesota Timberwolves

Kevin Garnett is not in good terms with the Minnesota Timberwolves but his love for the city has never changed.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love

"It's a way to really challenge yourself" — Kevin Love talks about the hardest workout he's ever done

Kevin Love revealed the hardest workout he has ever done and it doesn't have anything to do with basketball.

BYU Cougars guard Jimmer Fredette shoots over San Diego State Aztecs forward Kawhi Leonard

“He said some things” — Jimmer Fredette on Kawhi Leonard's trash talk

En route to a 72-54 win, Kawhi Leonard approached Jimmer Fredette and talked smack to him.