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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Joseph McBride

NBA star pens emotional retirement letter and admits league started to "destroy" him

Former Dallas Mavericks star Tyrell Terry has decided to retire from basketball aged 22, after releasing an 'emotional' statement.

Terry was picked up by the Mavericks in the second round of the NBA draft in 2020, and made 11 appearances before moving to Memphis Grizzlies. Terry was waived by the Grizzlies in July, and has now decided to end his NBA career before it really begun.

The former NBA star has claimed that the anxiety that basketball caused him 'ruined his love for the game', and that for his mental health he had to make a change. Terry took to Instagram to announce his decision, opening up on how it 'began to destroy him'.

"This message is a very difficult one to share and an emotional one to write," Terry wrote on Instagram. "Today I decided to let go of the game that has formed a large part of my identity. Something that has guided my path since I took my first steps.

"While I have achieved amazing accomplishments, created unforgettable memories, and made lifelong friends...I’ve also experienced the darkest times of my life. To the point where instead of building me up, it began to destroy me. Where I began to despise and question the value of myself, much more than those surrounding me could ever see or know.

"Intrusive thoughts, waking up nauseous, and finding myself struggling to take normal breaths because of the rock that would sit on my chest that seemed to weigh much more than I could carry. This is just a brief description of the anxiety this sport has caused me, and while I’m grateful for every door it has opened for me, I can’t continue this fight any longer for something I have fallen out of love with.

"To most, I will forever be known as a bust, a failure, or a waste of talent. While those may be true when it comes to basketball, it is the biggest failures in life that lead to the greatest success.

"There is more for me out in this vast world and I am extremely excited to be able to explore that. And for the first time, to be able to find my identity outside of being a basketball player.

"I am eternally grateful to those who have believed in me and apologize to those that I have let down. But I'm headed down a different path now, one that will hopefully lead to happiness and being able to love myself again."

Terry only made 13 NBA appearances (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

There were suggestions that Terry was suffering mentally when he joined the Mavericks in 2020, as he took a personal leave that lasted two months after making his 11 appearances for the NBA side. Terry was asked about this at media day ahead of the following season.

Terry said: "I was dealing with some mental health stuff that runs in my family. I wasn't really aware it was creeping up on me. It hit me kind of serious."

Terry then went on to miss all of their pre-season games in the build-up to the 2021-22 season, and was released. The Mavericks claimed on Twitter that Terry was 'family for life' as he departed.

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