Dooling discusses retirement, abuse

September, 27, 2012
Issac Baldizon/NBAE/GettyKeyon Dooling is walking away from the NBA at age 32.
Former Celtics guard Keyon Dooling opened up to about the reasons he's walking away from the NBA at age 32, including a desire to spend more time with his family after repressing memories of abuse he endured growing up:
"It just all came to a head. To be honest with you, I blocked a lot of things out of my life," said Dooling. "I’m a man who’s been abused, sexually, emotionally, mentally. I’ve been abused in my life, and there’s so many guys around the NBA who have been abused and I know it because I’ve been their therapist. I didn’t even have the courage because I blocked it out so much that I couldn’t even share that ...

“It took literally a meltdown for everybody to see how serious I was about not playing ball anymore."

But he was absolutely serious.

"For so long I’ve always denied myself and what I feel for others, in particular my family of origin and my wife and my children and my friends who I really trust," he said.

“It just got to the point where it was like, they don’t know how much pain I’m in. They don’t know how lonely the road can be. They don’t know the stuff that comes along with being an NBA player. They don’t know how many people call my phone begging for money every day. They don’t know how many people call me asking for advice. They don’t know how many people rely on me to be happy when they’re down. They don’t understand the grind that mentally I have to go through to be this man I am every day."

Dooling also gushes about former teammates Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett, and details plans to stay involved with the NBA (including maintain his role in the NBA Players' Association for the first half of the upcoming season).

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