After former San Antonio Spurs legend David Robinson, Rasho Nesterovic had some mighty shoes to fill. He lived in the shadow of one of the game’s greatest centers and although fans may have expected a lot from him, he did put up some good numbers when he wore the silver and black.
After his best season with the Timberwolves during the 2002–03 season, when he averaged 11.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, the Spurs gave him a 6-year contract in 2004 when he was traded.
In his first season with San Antonio, he averaged 8.7 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game. In his second season with the Spurs, 2004–05, he suffered an ankle injury, and was limited to 70 games. He also won an NBA title with the Spurs the same season.
He was traded by the Spurs in 2006 to the Raptors for Matt Bonner, Erik Williams and a 2009 second round pick. And after spending time in Indiana, Toronto and finally making his way back home, Nesterovic has called it a career and has retired from basketball.
“I believe my basketball career has ended. It’s enough. I’ve had a 17 years long professional basketball career. My latest injury has nothing to do with this decision. This was a personal decision. Basically I can’t function as I did in the past, anymore. If I can’t be at my 100% as a l player, I would rather do something else at the fullest.”
Rasho made it clear he does not want to get into coaching and feels working with children will be his next step.
“I don’t want to become a coach. I don’t want to speak about me in any managerial function in any club. This is hard to admit but these days the clubs are turning to the amateur side of the sport due to financial hardships. The properly functioning clubs are numbered. I would like to work with children, it would make me happy. They get you, you get them and most importantly things are more relaxed with them.”
Nesterovic concluded his career playing in Greece for Olympiacos and can claim he won both a Euroleague and NBA title. He also played for the Slovenian national team.
The former 1999 first-round pick may not have had the impact many of today’s European players can have on an NBA team but he was one of the first to pave the way for other foreign players yearning to play in the NBA.