What Happened to 2-Time NBA Champion Mario Chalmers?
Mario Chalmers was a winner when he left college and pursued a career in the NBA. While at the University of Kansas, Chalmers was a part of the 2008 NCAA national championship team. He played an essential role on that successful team.
When he got to the NBA, Chalmers had the chance to play with some of the best and also win multiple championships.
Mario Chalmers’ NBA career
The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Chalmers in the second round of the 2008 NBA draft. He was later traded to the Miami Heat. In his rookie season with the Heat, Chalmers started all 82 regular season games and averaged 10.0 points, 4.9 assists, and 2.8 rebounds. In just his fourth NBA game, Chalmers set a franchise record with nine steals in a game. He was a member of the All-Rookie Second Team. His future in Miami was looking very promising.
During the 2010-11 season, that’s when LeBron James decided to join the Heat along with NBA star Chris Bosh. The Heat immediately became a title contending team and Chalmers held down the point guard position. That same season, the Heat would make it to the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks but were not able to come away with the championship. Still, the Heat were determined to make it back to the finals.
The next season, Chalmers was a restricted free agent and would re-sign with the Heat. He was a part of the All-Star Weekend festivities and competed in the 3-Point Shootout. At the end of the regular, the Heat were one of the top teams in the league headed into the playoffs. They found themselves back in the NBA Finals for the second straight year. This time the Heat would take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Chalmers played well during the finals. In Game 4 he had 25 points, scoring 12 in the fourth quarter to help the Heat defeat the Thunder. The Heat would defeat the Thunder and were crowned 2012 NBA champions. The next year they went on to defeat the San Antonio Spurs and were back-to-back champs. Just like that, Chalmers had two NBA championships.
Chalmers says goodbye to Miami
Chalmers spent seven seasons with Miami and in during the 2015-16 season, he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Chalmers was a part of arguably the best team the Heat ever had. While playing for the Grizzlies, Chalmers ruptured his right Achilles tendon in March of 2016 and was out for the rest of the season.
He did not play during the 2016-17 season and would end up signing with the Grizzlies for the 2017-18 season. That season he played in 66 games averaging 7.7 points. That was the last time Chalmers played in the NBA.
Even though Chalmers wasn’t playing in the league anymore, he still was playing professional basketball. He did not want to walk away from the game just yet. All he needed was a chance to keep playing and he got it.
Playing overseas and in the BIG3
In March of 2019, Chalmers joined Virtus Bologna of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A. This was Chalmers first stint overseas. In 10 games, he averaged 7.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, and three assists per game. He would win the 2019 FIBA Champions League title with his team.
During the summer, Chalmers decided to come back to the U.S. and play in the BIG3. According to an article from ClutchPoints, Chalmers joined the BIG3 to stay in shape. Many former NBA stars have played in the three-on-three league and it has expanded since it started in 2017.
After playing in the BIG3, Chalmers went back overseas in November of 2019 to play AEK Athens of the Greek Basket League. Chalmers went from being a second-round draft pick to a two-time NBA champion. He had success in the league, and he knew how to play his role.