Like with most other sports, the career-span of a basketball player is incredibly short. Most players are lucky to play for 10 seasons, and even the NBA's top stars struggle to pass the 15-year mark.
Due to this, NBA players understandably want to prolong their careers for as long as possible, and for the first time in history, the majority of the NBA's best players are already into their 30s.
However, there are also a number of notable veterans who are past their prime, while also being stuck with franchises that have no chance of success. So, as we head towards the 2019 offseason, here are three individuals that should consider retirement.
#1 Tony Parker
From 2002 to 2016, the trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili widely became known as the 'Big Three'. The trio played a major role in the San Antonio Spurs' sustained success, yielding NBA Championships in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014.
Nevertheless, following Duncan's retirement in 2016, and Ginobili's last year, Parker remains the last man standing.
After spending his entire career with the Spurs, Parker moved to the Charlotte Hornets last season on a two-year contract (non-guaranteed 2nd year). The Hornets had hoped that the addition of Parker would help them to the playoffs, but Charlotte has once again missed out on the postseason, and for the first time in his career, Parker has failed to start a single game.
The soon-to-be 37-year-old has averaged just 17.9 minutes per contest, contributing 9.5 points and 3.7 assists. The Hornets are likely to lose Kemba Walker this summer, and while Parker may find more minutes, the franchise seems to be heading backward.
Ultimately, the Frenchman has already achieved everything in the game during an illustrious career, and it may be time to call it quits.
#2 Jamal Crawford
Jamal Crawford has enjoyed an incredible career in the NBA during which he has been named Sixth Man of the Year on three occasions. However, after spending the last decade with playoff-contending teams, Crawford now finds himself as part of a Phoenix Suns roster that is among the worst in the NBA -- and the former Clippers man is also personally enduring the worst statistical season of his career.
During 61 appearances from the Phoenix bench, Crawford has averaged just 6.6 points per game -- his lowest tally since 2000. The veteran has also shot at a career-low 30% from beyond the arc, and his overall field goal accuracy has plummeted to 37%.
At 39, Crawford appears to have little left in the tank, and he may be better off retiring than remaining with the Western Conference's worst team any longer than necessary.
#3 Carmelo Anthony
Just 24 months ago, Carmelo Anthony was widely viewed as a player that could elevate a franchise towards a Championship. However, following unsuccessful spells with the Thunder and Rockets, Melo's future in the NBA appears to be in doubt.
Following his one-year stint in Oklahoma City, Anthony finally linked up with Chris Paul and the Rockets, although the former All-Star lasted just 10 games in Houston. Melo has now not played a minute of basketball since November, and while the 34-year-old was close to joining the Lakers last month, a deal was called off due to the Lakers' inability to challenge for the playoffs.
Due to this, Melo now looks unlikely to find a team ahead of the upcoming playoffs, and while Anthony may be offered a route back to the league next season, his days on a contending roster look to be over.
As a 10-time All-Star who is well known for his belief in his own ability, a return to the NBA with a struggling team looks like the recipe for another disaster, and Melo may be better off completely walking away from the NBA.