Even though he is 40 years old, Kyle Korver is one of those players that could definitely still be playing due to his skill-set. You can never have enough shooting, especially in today’s NBA, so a player like Korver, a dead-eye marksman and loved teammate, should be a wanted asset for any team right now. He never officially retired but chose to sit out the season. Why? The reason goes beyond basketball.
Korver came into the league in the infamous 2003 Draft Class as a late-second-round pick without much hope for a long NBA career. A skinny guy from Iowa playing at the University of Creighton didn’t scream potential, but Korver came from a basketball family. From his parents to his 3 brothers, who all played D1 basketball, all of his family members had a talent for the game. Coming from a small and religious town, Korver was all about family and basketball.
No one knew about Korver in his rookie season, but he made a name from himself at the All-Star weekend, participating in the three-point contest and catching fire, scoring 18 points, and hitting the last 9 shots. His superstar teammate Allen Iverson was cheering from, as was the whole arena.
It would put the league on notice and shed light on things to come. For the next 16 years, Korver was one of the best shooters in the NBA, year in and year out, proving he belongs with the big boys. He was a valuable piece in six different teams and often looked at as the X-factor. In 2010 Korver set the 3P% record for a season with 54%, and later in 2015, he reached the top of his career with the Hawks and notching an All-Star appearance.
But Korver’s legacy went beyond the records, numbers, and awards, as he is recognized as one of the most humble, friendly, and beloved players ever, known for his impeccable sportsmanship and demeanor outside the court. After he got traded to Cleveland in 2017, Korver would finally get a chance to compete for a ring alongside LeBron James, but a tragic event would occur just a month before the playoffs. His youngest brother Kirk had an organ failure and got rushed to the hospital. He needed a liver transplant, but his body gave out too soon, and he passed away surrounded by his family.
That day hit Kyle and his family hard, but he had to return to his team just a week later. Korver played out his season with the Cavs and lost in the Finals, got traded to Utah the following season, and play in the bubble for the Bucks as his last destination. Many people expected Kyle to sign with a contending team this season, but Korver has decided to hold back on basketball for now and dedicate his life to the family he made, his wife, and three kids.
The tragic loss of his brother definitely had a significant impact on that, as he wants to share and appreciate every moment possible with his family. After all, life is so short and fragile; we have to appreciate it every day. So if Kyle Korver wants to play basketball or spend his days with his family, it is important he does whatever makes him and the one’s around him happy.