Rockets’ P.J. Tucker says he had no interest coming back to NBA after successful Europe stint
P.J. Tucker is currently one of the most important players for the Houston Rockets, but things could have been different for him had he decided not to return to the NBA.
The 33-year-old NBA veteran has been one of the key cogs for the Rockets. His 3-point shooting has been an asset to the team and a big help to reigning MVP James Harden, who can always pass him the ball whenever the double team arrives. He will usually just stand and wait for an opportunity to hit a corner 3, a shot that he’s perfected over the past couple of seasons.
He is also shooting 41 percent from deep this year.
While Tucker is enjoying a great opportunity to win a championship in Houston, he admitted that it hasn’t always been good for him, especially during the early years of his career.
The Toronto Raptors selected Tucker with the 35th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, but they decided to waive him before he could even complete his rookie season.
That’s when he decided to try his luck overseas.
He spent some time playing in Israel and Ukraine and found a lot of success in Europe. He had stints in Greece, Italy and Germany, where he won championships and MVPs.
It was during this time in Tucker’s life that he decided he doesn’t need to return to the NBA, per Dan Woike of the LA Times.
“I wasn’t coming back to the NBA. I had no interest in it,” Tucker said. “I was successful there. … I had established myself to the point where I was one of the best players in Europe at the time. These were million-dollar contracts.”
After seeing and hearing about the things he’s done and accomplished in Europe, Tucker received multiple offers to return to the NBA. He was really not interested at first, and it was with reason. He was successful, he was earning a lot of money, and he was a household name in Europe. Career-wise, he felt like he had nothing left to prove.
But after several conversations with his wife, Tucker decided to give the NBA one last shot.
“And, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’d ever made,”
After being out of the league for five years, Tucker returned to the NBA in 2012 and signed with the Phoenix Suns. It was perfect timing for P.J., as that was also the year that started the trend of 3-point shooting and position-less basketball. He’s benefiting a lot from the how the game is being played now.
Tucker is on the second season of a four-year, $32 million contract he signed with the Rockets last year. And with the way he’s playing, he’s showing the entire world that he deserves to get paid and be successful in the biggest basketball league in the world.
The post Rockets’ P.J. Tucker says he had no interest coming back to NBA after successful Europe stint appeared first on ClutchPoints.