It took Beno Udrih more than three years after his last appearance as an athlete on a basketball court (with Zalgiris Kaunas in 2018) to officially announce the end of his playing career.

The 39-year-old Slovenian, former international guard and two-time NBA champion who has been working as a player development coach for the New Orleans Pelicans, took to Instagram to break the news, explaining why it took him so long to come to terms with the decision.

"They say professional athletes die two deaths- the first being when you’re unable to play the sport any longer. It has taken me 2 long years to accept and announce my retirement from playing basketball.

Coming from a small village in Slovenia to playing 13 consecutive years in the NBA and winning 2 championships, is more than I could have dreamed of and I loved every minute of it. Basketball has been a part of my life professionally since I was 16 years old and is something I hope I never have to give up on.

I now want to be a coach just as badly as I wanted to be a professional player back when I was a kid. I hope to share my knowledge and guide the next generation, just as many coaches did for me.

Thank you to the fans & everyone that supported me along the way, especially my family. Blessed to be coaching with the Pelicans for my second season," Udrih wrote.

Beno Udrih played 831 NBA games with San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, New York Knicks, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, and Detroit Pistons. He holds career averages of 8.4 points (on 34.9% three-point shooting, 83.3% free-throw shooting), 2.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists per contest.

During his time with the Spurs, Udrih won two NBA titles in 2005 and 2007.

On December 24, 2017, he returned to Europe, signing with Zalgiris Kaunas until the end of the season. In 2018, he won the Lithuanian championship title and made it to his only EuroLeague Final Four.

He had also played for Polzela and Union Olimpija in his native Slovenia, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Avtodor Saratov, and AX Armani Exchange Milan before moving overseas.

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