A month or so ago, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Darren Collison was considering a return to the NBA following his abrupt retirement in the middle of free agency last summer. Wojnarowski added that he expected the Lakers and Clippers of Los Angeles to be at the top of Collison’s list should he return, as he wanted to stay around where he lived in Southern California. The Lakers and their fans definitely wanted Collison on the roster, but that will reportedly not be happening as Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN has fully confirmed that Collison will stay retired.
Veteran guard Darren Collison has decided that he won’t return to the NBA this season and plans to stay retired, league sources tell ESPN. Lakers and Clippers had been courting him, but Collison has informed teams that the timing isn’t right for him.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 9, 2020
It’s a surprising development given the chatter around him that has been going on in the past week or so. It was reported that Collison would be making his decision at, around, or after the All-Star break, with the sentiment still remaining that he’d be considering the Lakers or Clippers should he return. It was then reported two days ago that he’d continue mulling over his return, and would possibly be setting up meetings with the Lakers and Clippers during this upcoming week.
The Lakers seemingly already started their recruitment process, as Collison was spotted at Staples Center during the Lakers’ loss to the Rockets on Thursday, sitting with Lakers’ owner Jeanie Buss. Although it seemed like Collison was leaning towards coming back and signing with the Lakers due to the appearance, there were reports going on at the same time that he was still “50-50” about returning to the NBA at all.
He has reportedly gone with the 50% side of staying retired, as he will continue his life as a devout Jehovah’s Witness as well as taking care of his family. It’s a huge blow to the Lakers who may have been more desperate at the trade deadline if they knew Collison wasn’t going to be available, but still, much respect to Collison for staying dedicated to his faith with all of this pressure on him to come back.