HoopsHype TJ Ford rumors

December 16, 2014 Updates
October 17, 2014 Updates

TJ Ford doesn’t foster any NBA hopes – “I’m too far out of shape,” he said – but feels better than he has since retiring. During the offseason, he worked out 1-on-1 against Avery Bradley. After a few games, the youngster’s conditioning and defense wore his mentor down. But before that, Ford said: “Ask him if I was still scoring on him. Ask him that.” Booth Newspapers

September 9, 2013 Updates

After former NBA player T.J. Ford tweeted a cryptic message Monday about Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley, raising concern among Celtics fans on the social network, CSNNE.com's A. Sherrod Blakely and the Boston Globe's Baxter Holmes reported that Bradley is dealing with a family issue but remains physically healthy. Ford, like Bradley a product of the University of Texas basketball program, tweeted about Bradley Monday morning. "Pray for my brother @Avery_Bradley," Ford wrote. Booth Newspapers

July 26, 2012 Updates
March 31, 2012 Updates

Point guard T.J. Ford is like any other person. He wonders what his career would have been like if he had not been nearly paralyzed after colliding with Minnesota's Mark Madsen as a rookie with Milwaukee in 2004. There's no doubt in the lightning- quick point guard's mind he would have been one of the top players at his position in the NBA. If only . . . Then Ford snaps out of it and starts thinking about today and what lies ahead. "If not for injuries, of course I felt like I would have been one of the dominant guys in the NBA, one of the elite point guards," Ford said in a phone interview this week. "I never actually got to the full potential." Indianapolis Star

"The decision to retire wasn't tough at all," the former Pacer said. "I've been through so much. I thought I made a good decision to quit while I still have my health. That's the most important thing." Ford spent this season with the San Antonio Spurs, who host the Pacers tonight. He knew it was time to call it quits after taking a shot to his upper back while battling New York Knicks point guard Baron Davis for a rebound in a game earlier this month. Ford lay on the court face down after taking the hit. That's it. No more. "As soon as it happened, I knew I was done," Ford said. "There wasn't really much to discuss with anyone. Basically being paralyzed and not being able to move, there's no feeling that anybody can imagine or give a true opinion on because no one has been there motionless." Indianapolis Star

Ford isn't done with basketball, however. He's a volunteer assistant coach with the Austin Toros, the Spurs' D-League affiliate, so he can see if he wants to become a coach. "I'm finding out now," he said. "I don't know if it'll be coaching, player development. I'm not sure, but I will be involved in basketball somehow. Right now I'm just kind of seeing where it takes me." Indianapolis Star

March 25, 2012 Updates

Former Texas star point guard T.J. Ford retired from the NBA earlier this month as a precaution after experiencing chronic spine injuries. But he will remain around the game as an assistant coach for the D-League’s Austin Toros. “I’ll look at it from another perspective,” said Ford, 29, according to Sportando. “I’m really starting at the bottom. I’m not sure where I’m headed. But I’m headed in the right direction.” Lost Lettermen

March 23, 2012 Updates

T.J. Ford retired earlier this month after nine injury-hampered years in the NBA. But he's not quite done with basketball. The former point guard for the San Antonio Spurs and consensus player of the year at Texas will be announced today as a volunteer coach for the Austin Toros. "I'll look at it from another perspective," said Ford, 28. "I'm really starting at the bottom. I'm not sure where I'm headed. But I'm headed in the right direction." statesman.com

March 20, 2012 Updates
March 18, 2012 Updates

Chris Bosh was always the last – he had to get the earrings in and the tie knotted just so because you can’t do TV while looking slovenly – and the seconds would turn into minutes and the deadlines would be rapidly approaching. And then, without fail, TJ Ford would be done, he’d approach the middle of the room where everyone was gathered and he’d catch someone by eye, stop for a second and say: “Anyone need anything from me.” Toronto Star

It didn’t matter if he’d played well or poorly or at all, he’d stand there and answer questions honestly and with candor until the last questioner was gone; didn’t matter if they fled to talk to someone else or what, he’d wait and do whatever he had to do. It was just the kind of guy he was, and is, and of all the Raptors to come down the pike in all the years, the tiny point guard was among the most honest, self-critical and forthcoming of them all. Toronto Star

I wasn’t there the night he collided with Mark Madsen of Minnesota Timberwolves to cause the first injury that brought his genetic spine flaw to the forefront. TJ was playing in Milwaukee at the time and was as fearless as anyone in the game and the fact he and Madsen developed a friendship afterwards speaks volumes, I think, to TJ’s credit. Toronto Star

Now, there can be no question, in his time in Toronto at least, that TJ had some issues. He didn’t handle the competition with Jose Calderon all that well – although I will tell you without question that the two remain friends today – and TJ had a tendency to sulk when things didn’t go his way. But he was a relative kid and in the grand scheme of things, I guess hindsight should give him a pass. He was TJ, and the stubbornness wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Toronto Star

March 13, 2012 Updates

For much of his basketball career, T.J. Ford played with eyes in the back of his head. From his days as a prep star at Fort Bend Willowridge, through two program-shaping college seasons at Texas, to seven-plus seasons in the NBA that finished in San Antonio, Ford was the type of pass- first point guard who could see a teammate breaking open before anyone else. It wasn’t until Wednesday night, when he found himself face down on the AT&T Center court after taking an otherwise non-descript blow to his upper back, that Ford finally saw the rest of his life clearly for the first time. It was then he decided it was time to walk away, while he still could walk at all. “That’s not the first time I’ve laid down on the court and not been able to move at my will,” Ford, 28, said in announcing his retirement Monday. “I thought I needed to get out while I still had a chance.” San Antonio Express-News

Ford’s latest injury, suffered while jostling for a rebound with New York’s Baron Davis, was diagnosed as a relatively minor neck stinger. An MRI showed no damage to Ford’s nerves or spinal column. “If I had to play today, I could,” Ford said. Instead, Ford says it was his mental state that led him to call it quits. With a 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter at home, Ford no longer believed basketball was worth risking his health. “It’s sort of the only decision that could be made under the circumstances,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “He cares about his family more than he does basketball, which is the way it should be.” Ford’s teammates were surprised, but supportive of the decision. “You can see where he was coming from,” forward Matt Bonner said. “He was pretty much rolling the dice every night.” Ford said he looked “briefly” at film of the play that ended his career, when Davis elbowed him in the back during a box-out situation. He does not consider the play dirty. “If it’s anybody else, it’s just a regular play,” Ford said. “But because of me and my condition, a simple elbow to the back has a different outcome.” San Antonio Express-News

Baron Davis called T.J. Ford and spent about 45 minutes on the telephone with him Monday to apologize for being involved in the play that ultimately ended Ford's career. Last week in San Antonio, Davis ran inside to get position for a rebound and his forearm hit Ford, who immediately crumbled to the floor. Ford has a history of neck and spine problems. He announced Monday that he is retiring from basketball. "He was just saying it was like a blessing in disguise," Davis said. "The fall scared him. The hit scared him. He basically was saying it wasn't my fault. It was basketball. I just let him know I have a great deal of respect for him, love for him. He's like a little brother of mine. I just felt bad. I just felt real bad to be involved in a play like that because it's not in my nature and my character." Newsday

For now, Ford will stay around the Spurs. He’s already been mentoring Cory Joseph, and now he will also hang around R.C. Buford and the staff for an inside view. Ford said Monday he wants to see if the NBA “is a route I may want to take one day.” It might be the smarter move, since the Spurs are known for starting careers. Their interns become assistants who become head coaches and general managers. NBA employment might appeal to Ford for another reason. He couldn’t become the pro player he wanted to be, so being a pro coach or GM might fill that void. But something else waits for him in Austin. Gregg Popovich respects Ford, but Barnes loves the guy. Ford is his Tim Duncan. Barnes explained that in many ways Monday, beginning with his recruitment. Ford coming to Texas, he said, “made it cool to be a Longhorn.” San Antonio Express-News

March 12, 2012 Updates

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