One of the signature stars and true gentlemen of the Euroleague over the last decade, Trajan Langdon of CSKA Moscow, announced his retirement from basketball on the club’s website Saturday.
Langdon was a two-time Euroleague champion, in 2006 and 2008, and a three-time runner-up. He was the 2008 Final Four MVP and leaves the competition ranked fifth all-time in three-pointers made (339) and sixth in both scoring (2,178 points) and steals (216). He made his announcement two days after helping CSKA to its ninth consecutive Russian League crown.
“Eight out of my nine years in Europe, I have been able to end the season with a win, which means that I’ve been a champion, and in each of my six years here at CSKA, I have been able to end my season with a win, so being able to do so to end my career is very special,” Langdon said in an interview on the club website. “It’s been an incredible run here, my six years here with CSKA, and something I will never forget.”
Langdon, 35, joined CSKA in 2005 and was one of the team leaders since. He won the Euroleague in his very first season with CSKA, at Prague in 2006, ending the club’s 35-year drought without a continental trophy. They returned to win again in 2008 in Madrid, with Langdon raising the MVP trophy, too, a short time after he had become a father for the first time.
“Our first win in Prague was huge, because I had lost in the Final Four in college and I had lost in the Final Four with Benetton. And so with my third chance of winning an actual title, we did it against all odds. No one expected us to win, so that was an amazing feeling,” Langdon said in the interview. “And then for the second Euroleague title, right after my son was born, we won another huge game against Maccabi after a great season we had. Then being named the MVP of that Final Four almost felt like the pinnacle of my career.”
In both 2007 and 2009, CSKA finished second in the Euroleague title games by 2 points each time. In his last Final Four appearance, CSKA finished in third place in 2010 as Langdon played all 45 minutes of an overtime victory against Partizan, scoring his career-high of 32 points and posting his career-best performance index rating, 37.
Langdon, who also played in the 2003 Euroleague final with Benetton Treviso of Italy, appeared in a total of six Final Fours during eight Euroleague seasons. He was selected to the Euroleague All-Decade Team and named to the All-Euroleague Team three times, the first team in both 2006-07 and 2007-08, the second team for the 2005-06 season.
Langdon began his Euroleague career in the 2002-03 season with Benetton and played a season each with Efes Pilsen in Turkey and Dynamo Moscow in Russia before joining CSKA and spending the last six seasons there. In that time, he amassed a total of eight national championships in three different countries.