Youngest NBA Players To Retire

8 Youngest NBA Players To Retire

The NBA is probably the most popular basketball league in the world. It was founded in 1946 in NYC and is currently composed of 30 teams. Initially known as the Basketball Association of America (BAA), in 1949, it officially merged with the National Basketball League changing its name to the National Basketball Association, or NBA, as we know it nowadays.

NBA players start their career quite young and tend to retire in their mid-thirties, however, there are some exceptions. Some players, in fact, decide to retire earlier due to multiple reasons. Usually, this consists of injuries, but there are other causes too. For instance, some players may simply not perform as well as expected.
This is why we decided to create a list of the eight youngest NBA players to retire!

8. Chris Bosh (March 24, 1984 – present)

Retired at the Age Of: 31
Birthplace: Dalla, Texas
Nationality: American
Position: Power Forward – Center

Chris Boshphoto source:

Chris Bosh was born in 1984 and played in the NBA for 14 years.

He started to practice basketball in his house together with his brother, Joel at a very young age. But basketball wasn’t his only interest. In fact, during his youth, Chris also went to gymnastics and karate classes.

He started his professional career in 2003 by playing for the Toronto Raptors. Chris stayed on this team for seven years and then joined the Miami Heat, for which he played another extra seven years.

On February 12, 2019, Christopher officially announced his retirement due to recurring blood clots.

Did You Know?

When he was young, Christopher considered Kevin Garnet his favorite athlete.

7. Yao Ming (September 12, 1980 – present)

Retired at the Age Of: 30
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Nationality: Chinese
Position: Center

Yao Mingphoto source:

Yao Ming is probably the most popular Chinese NBA player of all time. He was born in September 1980 and retired at the young age of 30.

Yao’s parents were both incredibly tall and used to play basketball professionally. When he was only 13, Yao joined the Shanghai Sharks junior team, a professional team of the Chinese Basketball Association. He played for four years with them and then leveled up to the senior team.

In 2002, Yao signed a contract with the Houston Rockets. This is the only NBA team for which he played. In 2005, Yao had an operation on his left big toe due to osteomyelitis. Because of this, he missed 21 games.

Yao announced his retirement from basketball on July 20, 2011, during a press conference in Shanghai.

He is currently married to basketball player Ye Li. The two met when she was only 17 years old and married in 2007. Ye Li and Yao Ming had their first daughter three years after their wedding in 2010.

Did You Know?

When Yao was born he weighed 11 pounds (5 kg). This is double as much as the average Chinese newborn.

6. Gilbert Arenas (January 6, 1982 – present)

Retired at the Age Of: 30
Birthplace: Tampa, Florida
Nationality: American
Position: Point Guard

Gilbert Arenasphoto source:

Gilbert Arenas retired at the age of 31 and throughout his career, he joined several NBA teams.

He was born in Tampa, Florida, and started to play basketball at the Ulysses S. Grant High School. Gilbert kept his passion alive during his college years at the University of Arizona.

He then entered the NBA in 2001, playing with the Golden State Warrior. Gilbert stayed with this team only for two seasons and then joined the Washington Wizards from 2003 to 2010. In 2006, the fansite started to call him ‘Agent Zero’. The nickname was so loved that it was used throughout Gilbert’s career. After the Washington Wizards, he also played with two other NBA teams, the Orlando Magic and the Memphis Grizzlies.

For the 2012-2013 season, Gilbert moved to China and joined the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association. However, after this season, he officially announced his retirement.

Did You Know?

On June 27, Gilbert was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department. He was, in fact, in possession of an illegal type of fireworks.

5. Bradley Daughtery (October 19, 1965 – present)

Retired at the Age Of: 28
Birthplace: Black Mountain, North Carolina
Nationality: American
Position: Center

Bradley Daughteryphoto source:

Known as Big Duckie and The Hooch, Bradley Daughtery was born in 1965 and announced his retirement from the NBA in 1997.

Brad started to play basketball in High School. He was so talented that he soon received a scholarship to the University of Carolina. In college, Brad also distinguished himself, becoming one of the best big men in the university. In 2002, he was, in fact, added to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

Hooch started his professional career in 1986 by playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Unfortunately, he couldn’t play professionally for too long. In fact, Bradley had to quit when he was only 28 due to a back injury.

After he announced his retirement, he worked as a color commentator for Cleveland Cavaliers telecasts. Brad also helped several charities and sponsored annual scholarships to help kids receive higher education.

Did You Know?

Even though Bradley stopped playing in 1995, he announced his official retirement only two years later.

4. Greg Oden (January 22, 1988 – present)

Retired at the Age Of: 28
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York
Nationality: American
Position: Center

photo source:

Greg Oden is one of the many NBA players who retired at a very early age.

He was born in Buffalo but moved to Indiana when he was just nine. Here he went to Lawrence North High School where he was nominated for 2005 National Boys Basketball Player of the Year. After surgery on his right wrist, he kept playing basketball in college and finally started his career in 2007 when he entered the NBA.

Greg began his professional career with the Portland Trail Blazers. He immediately signed a contract for two seasons but unfortunately had to go through surgery, missing one entire season. However, he soon recovered and played for this team from 2007 to 2012.

In 2013, Greg signed a contract with the Miami Heat, and the following season he played for a Chinese team known as the Jiangsu Dragons. He ended his career as a basketball player at the end of the season.

Did You Know?

During his career with the Portland Trail Blazers, Greg had to undergo many surgeries. He was, in fact, operated on both his knees several times.

3. Royce White (April 10, 1991 – present)

Retired at the Age Of: 27
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Nationality: American
Position: Power Forward

Royce Whitephoto source:

Royce White was born in April 1991 and retired when he was only 27 years old.

He was born in a multi-racial family with African-American, Welsh, Norwegian, and Mexican roots. Royce started to play sports when he was only five years old. He played throughout high school and college and started his professional career in 2012.

This year, Royce was drafted by the Houston Rockets. But he soon started to complain about how the NBA dealt with his anxiety disorders. Royce requested permission to travel by bus rather than by plane, which was eventually granted. However, the problems persisted, and he eventually left the team.

In 2014, Royce signed a 10-day contract with the Sacramento Kings. Unfortunately, the contract was not renovated.

Did You Know?

During college, Royce was suspected of stealing a laptop. Despite this, after three months of investigation, the University of Minnesota did not have enough proof to charge him with theft.

2. Brandon Roy (July 23, 1984 – present)

Retired at the Age Of: 27
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington
Nationality: American
Position: Shooting Guard

photo source:

Brandon Roy started his basketball career playing for one of the biggest basketball organizations in the US, the Amateur Athletic Union. He then attended Garfield High school, where he was considered among the best players on the team.

In college, Brandon played for the University of Washington, and in 2006, he finally started his professional career. He joined the Portland Trail Blazers from 2006 to 2011. But in 2011, he declared his decision to retire. This was mainly due to problems with his knees. Most of the cartilage between the bones was in fact missing. Despite this, in June 2012, he signed a contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves which, not surprisingly, didn’t last long. Brandon soon ended his career on May 10, 2013.

In 2016, he decided to go back to the basketball scene, but this time, as a couch. He first trained at Nathan Hale High School and the following year, at Garfield High School.

Did You Know?

Brandon was a candidate for the 2002 NBA draft, but he decided to withdraw his name.

1. Andrew Bynum (October 27, 1987 – present)

Retired at the Age Of: 26
Birthplace: Plainsboro Township, New Jersey
Nationality: American
Position: Center

photo source:

Andrew Bynum is the youngest NBA player to retire as he left this sport at the young age of 26 years old.

He started to play basketball at a very young age and took part in the 2005 McDonald’s All-American Game. Even though originally Andrew wanted to attend the University of Connecticut, he eventually decided to pursue a career in basketball. When he was only 17, he went into the NBA and was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2005 NBA draft.

After his debut, he played seven seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, in 2012 he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. After this, Andrew started to have several problems with both his knees and had to take several breaks.

In March 2013, he finally got arthroscopic surgery on both knees, and in July of the same year, he signed a contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The following year, he started to play for the Indiana Pacers, but he could participate only in two games before the team declared him out due to problems with his knees.

Did You Know?

Andrew was the youngest person to play in an NBA game.

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