By: Dan Slaubaugh
Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine announced this morning at shootaround that he will be retiring from basketball, to pursue his dreams of becoming a professional skateboarder.
LaVine says the announcement may be shocking news for the sports world to hear, but for himself, not at all.
"I knew all along I would make the transition from basketball to skateboarding, the question was when. Once I found out the XGames had open positions, I knew this was the time to make the transition."
LaVine has plenty of skateboarding experience. At the age of 8, he competed in his neighborhood skate-off, which was an annual tradition in his hometown. His signature move was a 90 McTwist.
"There is no greater feeling than gliding through the air like a majestic bird. A dunk from the free throw line? No. A game winning three pointer? No. There is nothing that compares with that feeling."
Lavine said he is not opposed to the idea of being a participant in the 2017 Slam Dunk Contest.
"It'd be real cool to come back and throw some dunks off my skateboard."
LaVine will make his farewell to the NBA at the beginning of the Wolves-Mavs game Sunday night.
"It's most important that my farewell announcement is in front of the Target Center faithful," the sophomore guard said. "There may be some sour grapes out there, but I want to make sure everything is cleared up before I officially leave the team."
Lavine's retirement from basketball will leave Wolves fans saddened, but for him, it's a great opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream of professional skateboarding.
"I'm excited that I will get to live my dream and ride the rails into the sunset."