Today marks the one year anniversary of Pacers center Jeff Foster announcing his retirement after 13 seasons in the NBA, all with the Pacers.
Over the course of his career with the Pacers, Foster endeared himself to fans with his hustle and work rate. Though he averaged career totals of 4.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, there's no question Foster's impact in Indiana extended far beyond the box score.
“Jeff has meant a lot to the team and the community for 13 seasons,” former Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird said at Foster's retirement. “He played hard every night, he always gave his all. He is a great role model for our younger players and we can’t thank him enough for his contributions on and off the court.”
Foster was a part of some of the best Pacers teams in the franchise's NBA history. His rookie season, he appeared in 19 games for the 1999-2000 Eastern Conference champion squad. The next season, Foster took on a more significant role, playing in 71 games. He went on to play in 60 or more games for nine straight seasons, and the Pacers returned to the playoffs for the first six of those years.
Foster started a career-high 79 games for the 2003-04 team that went 61-21 and finished the regular season with best record in the NBA. He averaged 6.1 points and 7.4 rebounds from the center position that year, and upped those totals to 7.0 points and 9.0 rebounds the following season.
Foster's productivity was all the more remarkable considering his usage. Though he started nearly half the games he appeared in over the course of his career, Foster only surpassed 25 minutes per game twice in his career. Nonetheless, Foster rebounded at a remarkably high rate, averaging 8.4 rebounds per game in just 24.5 minutes over five seasons from 2003-08. Foster averaged more than 10 rebounds per 36 minutes in every season of his career, and led the entire NBA in offensive rebound percentage two seasons in a row (2006-08).
With his lengthy tenure with the Pacers, Foster not only endeared himself to fans but also etched his name near the top of several franchise career lists. Foster retired fourth in Pacers history in games played, behind only Reggie Miller, Rik Smits, and Vern Fleming. He also ranks fourth in career rebounds, behind Smits, Mel Daniels, and Dale Davis. His 19.0 total rebound percentage over the course of his career ranks second in franchise history behind only the Hall of Famer Daniels (19.5). And Foster holds the franchise record for career offensive rebound rate at 15.2 percent, far ahead of Davis' 13.9 career mark.
As we reach one year since Foster officially announced his retirement, be sure to check out Pacers.com's photo gallery and videos of Foster from his time with the franchise.