Splitter, 33, has been slowed by injuries over the last two years, having been particularly bothered by hip issues. He underwent surgery on his right hip approximately two years ago, but says he was recently told by doctors that in order to continue playing, he’d need to undergo a procedure on his other hip as well.
“I am going to stop playing. It’s a decision I’ve made these past few months,” Splitter said (English translation via SporTV). “It’s not something I want, but the hip injury I’ve been having is more troublesome than we thought. It’s a difficult time because you stop doing something you’ve done a lifetime. I remember being on a basketball court as long as I remember my person. I talked to my family, my wife, everyone, and really, it’s time to hang up the sneakers.”
As recently as October, we heard that Splitter was holding out hope of an NBA return, though even at that point he admitted he was still being bothered by his health problems. The Brazilian center last suited up for the Sixers in 2016/17, appearing in eight games for the team.
Having spent seven years in the NBA, Splitter appeared in 355 regular season contests, averaging 7.9 PPG and 5.0 RPG. Although he played in Atlanta and Philadelphia, the bulk of Splitter’s NBA career came in San Antonio, where he appeared in 65 postseason games for the Spurs and won a championship in 2014.
While Splitter told SporTV that he’s not sure exactly what his next step will be, he has previously expressed an interest in coaching, and reportedly received an invitation from Gregg Popovich to work with the Spurs. Splitter, who hopes to remain involved in basketball, has also done some television work, appearing on TV Globo during the 2016 Olympics.