One of the most famed players in CSKA Moscow history, Trajan Langdon retired last June after winning the Euroleague twice and leading CSKA to six Russian League titles. Now he's ready for the next chapter in his basketball story.
Nearly a year away from the game of basketball and Trajan Langdon is hungry to return.
It was bound to happen.
Keep in mind we are talking about a player who won the Turkish Airlines Euroleague twice in six years with CSKA Moscow, walked away with the 2008 Final Four MVP, and called it a career after helping CSKA to their ninth-consecutive Russian League title.
The daily routine of being around teammates, at practice, in big game situations and the undying desire to compete at the highest level in Europe isn't something anyone -- especially someone of a star caliber like Langdon was overseas -- easily walks away from at the age of 35-years old.
The retirement decision probably wasn't easy last June, two days after winning another PBL title.
The desire to get back in the flow now appears stronger.
But before any CSKA fans get their hopes up about Langdon lacing them back-up in Moscow, this newsflash isn't about the all-everything guard getting back on the floor. A return apparently is coming, but the particulars have changed.
Langdon could be pacing the sidelines or running a front office before much longer.
"I am missing basketball a bit," Langdon said in an interview on Saturday in Moscow.
"But I don't want to return as a player, maybe as a coach or a manager. I still love basketball, but not as a player."
A week after CSKA lost a 19-point lead and had their hearts broken at the Final Four championship game to Olympiacos, 62-61, in Instanbul, Turkey, Langdon's legacy in Russia provides a chance to remember the better times for CSKA -- like when he and J.R. Holden (who retired alongside of Langdon) helped win Euroleague titles for the proud club in 2006 and 2008.
Four years later Langdon finding the right coaching role or executive position makes plenty of sense.
Not only does he come from a winning tradition that extends from CSKA all the way back to his days with the USA national basketball team in the 1998 FIBA World Championship where he won the Bronze, at Duke and also East Anchorage High School, but the former Cleveland Cavaliers' story is also one of survival and overcoming obstacles in the game.
After being selected 11th overall in the 1999 NBA Draft, Langdon embarked on an overseas career in 2002 that took him to Italy with Benetton Treviso, Turkey with Efes Pilsen and Russia with Dynamo Moscow before signing with CSKA for the 2005-06 season.
We aren't talking about a first round bust here.
Langdon is a champion and will be remembered as such.
When it comes to the Euroleague, his fingerprints are all over the competition.
He ranks fifth all-time in three-pointers made (339), sixth in scoring (2,178 points) and sixth in steals (216).
Upon announcing his retirement last June, Langdon explained how he was able to spend eight out of his nine years playing professionally in Europe by ending the season on a winning high.
A championship here. A championship there. And on and on and on.
What that means in relation to Langdon bringing a winning attitude and culture to a team in a non-playing role remains to be seen.
But regardless if he ends up among the college or professional ranks, Trajan Langdon belongs around the game.
Or should we call him Coach Langdon?