CLEVELAND — Channing Frye had been having a lot of conversations with “me, myself and I” during recent 30-minute drives to and from practices and games.
The more he talked to himself, the more the Cavaliers big man realized this season, his 13th in the NBA, would be his last.
Frye announced his decision to retire Friday on social media and spoke about it openly Saturday afternoon prior to a game against the Detroit Pistons at Quicken Loans Arena.
“At the end of the year, I can wipe my hands and say, ‘I’m good,’” Frye said. “It’s the right time.”
Frye, who missed the 2013-14 season with an enlarged heart that was caused by a rare virus, played in just 29 of Cleveland’s first 62 games. At 35, his role has been more that of coach and mentor than player.
“I love that basketball always gave me a challenge,” he said. “My job going forward would be more like coaching.
“I’ve only known one way of competing and playing and going at it. I love what I’m doing now, but if this is what I’m going to do, let me commit to it fully. I’m not 90 percent into anything.”
Having come to the realization it would be extremely difficult to commit 100 percent to basketball going forward, Frye came to the decision it was time to step away from the game.
Asked what he will do after the season, the outgoing veteran smiled and said, “Whatever I want.”
Frye, who entered Saturday averaging 3.3 points and 1.5 rebounds in 9.5 minutes, seems like an ideal candidate to go into broadcasting. He is intrigued by the idea, but doesn’t want to rush into anything.
Now listed at 7-foot and 255 pounds, Frye has averaged 8.8 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting .387 on 3-pointers over his career, which has included stops in New York, Portland, Phoenix, Orlando and Los Angeles (Lakers). The University of Arizona product is in his second stint with the Cavs and was a member of the 2016 championship team.
Asked how he wants to be remembered as a player, Frye said as someone who was genuine and real.
“Every team I’ve been on, I just wanted to win,” he said. “I wanted to see guys do well.”
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