March 1, 2019. Cleveland Cavaliers legend Channing Frye announced his retirement after 13 seasons in the NBA. On April 9, the Cavaliers will officially bid farewell to the beloved veteran in his last official game.
Yes, i am really retiring. It’s been a amazing ride. I’ve had the chance to have some amazing teammates and play for some great coaches. I’m gonna miss it but I’m super excited to see the other side of the fence!
— Channing Frye (@Channing_Frye) March 1, 2019
While Frye spent time in Cleveland for a brief part of his 13-year career, he’ll be best remembered for his contributions to the Cavaliers organization.
Heroics in Cleveland
During the 2015-2016 season, Frye was traded to Cleveland by the Orlando Magic. Acquired for his ability to stretch the floor with excellent perimeter shooting, Frye lived up to the Cavaliers expectations.
In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Atlanta Hawks, Frye put on an absolute clinic from deep, making seven of nine 3-pointers to guide the Cavaliers to a 3-0 series lead. Frye scored 27 points in their comeback victory, which helped the Cavaliers achieve a series sweep of Atlanta.
For the duration of the playoffs, Frye helped guide the Cavaliers to their first NBA title by erasing their 3-1 series deficit against the Golden State Warriors in 2016. During their 2016 playoff run, Frye appeared in 17 games, averaging 6.7 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. He shot an incredible 56.5 percent from 3-point range, signifying his lethal perimeter abilities.
During the 2016-2017 season, Frye appeared in 74 games with Cleveland, helping guide the team to yet another Eastern Conference title. The team, however, lost to Golden State in five games.
On July 19, 2018, Frye announced his return to the Cavaliers following a brief stint with the Los Angeles Lakers. Thus far, the beloved veteran has only appeared in 30 games, making just five starts. In nearly every statistical category, Frye continues to average career lows. He’s totaled just 3.5 points and 1.6 rebounds per game, although no matter what the statistics show, Frye continues to please the Cavaliers organization and its fans with his on and off-court personality.
Decision to Retire
Since the 2018-2019 season has been lost, the Cavaliers should let Frye ride off into the sunset in glorious fashion. The first step is increased minutes and starting opportunity, as well as the consummate retirement tour festivity.
The 35-year-old veteran decided it was time to hang it up. For Cleveland, there’s nothing more special than a franchise favorite retiring in the Cavaliers uniform. While speaking to Cleveland.com, Frye elaborated on his decision to call it quits after 13 seasons.
“I wanted to retire a Cav. I didn’t know what was going to happen this summer so I wanted to make sure I’m controlling my own destiny and going out the way I wanted to go out,” Frye told Chris Fedor.
In addition, Frye mentioned the decreased role played a factor in his decision to retire after the season. According to Fedor, Frye isn’t fazed by his retirement at all.
“I think some people are scared about retirement and are like what are you going to do after? Whatever the hell I want. It’s exciting to me,” Frye said. “Would I do broadcasting? Would I do my podcast? Yep. Would I try to be an astronaut? If I want to. I might want to be a mechanic for a couple of months. And that’s the thing, I want to do all these things but for me to be the best at doing anything other than basketball, I gotta ravel myself back in and find out what gets me going in the morning, what’s going to be the right kind of gas for my engine.”
During his career, Frye never cared about the stats. He just wanted to make sacrifices to win.
“Throughout my career I haven’t cared about stats. I don’t care about none of that,” he said. “Every team I’ve been on, I just wanted to win and I wanted to see guys do well. If you were better than me that was perfect. That made me work harder every day. If you were better than me we have a better chance of winning.”
The Frye Career Recap
Throughout his career, Frye spent time with five different organizations: Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Magic, Cavaliers and Lakers. With the help of another beloved Cavalier, Richard Jefferson, the duo struck gold with their Road Trippin’ Podcast, featuring a cast of characters from within the Cavaliers organization and around the league. After Frye’s announcement, Jefferson alluded to a full-time podcast between the two.
Throughout his 13 seasons, Frye averaged 8.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.
Whether you’re a Cavaliers fan or not, let’s savor Frye’s last moments in the NBA. It’s a bit sweeter he’ll retire in Cleveland though. Best of luck, Channing!
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