The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that Fred Hoiberg has retired from the NBA and will join the team's front office staff. Hoiberg's title is undetermined to date, however he will have duties and responsibilities relating to both the Timberwolves' basketball department and business operations. The 33-year-old underwent successful heart surgery on June 28, 2005 to correct an enlarged aortic root and did not play during the 2005-06 campaign.
"All of you are aware of the journey I've taken this past year and I just want to relay to all of the people that sent along their prayers and well wishes, my heartfelt thanks," Hoiberg said. "It was truly overwhelming to me and my family the outpouring that we received from the Twin Cities community and from across the Midwest.
"It is a difficult decision for any athlete to make, but after the rehabbing, consulting with physicians and most importantly talking with my family, I have come to the conclusion to retire from basketball. Every player feels as though they could play a few more years, however I don't feel like that's the best course of action for me and my family."
In 10 NBA seasons with Indiana (1995-96 - 1998-99) Chicago (1999-2000 - 2002-03) and Minnesota (2003-04 and 2004-05), Hoiberg tallied 5.4 points (.431 FG%, .854 FT%, .396 3FG%), 2.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 18.4 minutes per game in 541 contests (61 started). The Iowa State University product was originally selected in the second round by the Pacers with the 52nd overall pick of the 1995 NBA Draft. The native of Ames, Iowa, posted career-highs of 9.1 points (.438 FG%, .866 FT%, .412 3FG%), 4.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 30.4 minutes per game in 74 contests for the Bulls during the 2000-01 campaign.
"We have gotten to know Fred very well over the past few years both as a basketball player and as a person," said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. "When Fred relayed to us his decision to retire we didn't waste a minute in asking him to join our front office staff. Fred is an intelligent individual with a great work ethic. We will use his many talents on both the basketball and business sides of the team"
"Obviously, this was a very tough decision for Fred to make," said Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale. "It's never easy to hang up the sneakers, but we all know that it was a decision that was made in the best interest of his family. Fred is ready to come in and tackle some new challenges."
In his second season with the Timberwolves in 2004-05, Hoiberg posted averages of 5.8 points (.489 FG%), 2.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 16.7 minutes per game in 76 contests. Hoiberg led the NBA and set a new club record in three-point field goal percentage with 48.3% (70-for-145) from beyond the arc. Originally signed as a free agent by Minnesota on July 28, 2003, Hoiberg re-signed to a multi-year contract with the Wolves on July 23, 2004.
"We want to congratulate Fred on a tremendous basketball career," said Timberwolves president Chris Wright. "Fred is going to be an outstanding asset to this organization whether it be working with the basketball staff, or using his business skill set to help us on the corporate end of things."