*When The Boston Celtics announced they had waived guard Keyon Dooling recently, and that he had decided to retire from basketball at the age of 32, people had little choice but to believe it was for the reasons stated.
After giving the NBA 12 good years, the 6’3” player wanted to pursue other interests and spend more time with his family. Though the seemingly knee-jerk decision caught many of his team players’ off-guard, and the reasoning seemed a bit off because he had just re-signed a new contract with the club last July; the decision was respected and everyone wished the player well.
As it turns out, there was more to the story. Much more. And in a recent interview with Comcast Sportsnet reporter, Jessica Camerato, Dooling bravely revealed the real reason behind his departure.
“It just all came to a head. To be honest with you,” Dooling told CSNNE.com. “I blocked a lot of things out of my life. I’m a man who’s been abused, sexually, emotionally, mentally. I’ve been abused in my life, and there’s so many guys around the NBA who have been abused and I know it because I’ve been their therapist. I didn’t even have the courage because I blocked it out so much that I couldn’t even share that . . . It took literally a meltdown for everybody to see how serious I was about not playing ball anymore.”
Dooling says no one, not even his family, wanted him to quit. But the player reveals that no one understands how tough life as an NBA player is.
“It just got to the point where it was like, they don’t know how much pain I’m in. They don’t know how lonely the road can be. They don’t know the stuff that comes along with being an NBA player. They don’t know how many people call my phone begging for money every day. They don’t know how many people call me asking for advice. They don’t know how many people rely on me to be happy when they’re down. They don’t understand the grind that mentally I have to go through to be this man I am every day.
But this story has no sad ending. And Dooling makes it clear that he didn’t limp away, he walked away; and according to the article, though Dooling won’t be playing ball with the team, the Celtics are not through with this well-liked and highly respected player.
For more on this very encouraging story, read/learn more at CSNNE.com.