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Longtime Utah Jazz center Mark Eaton was expected to announce his retirement in a press conference at the Marriott Hotel Wednesday afternoon.

Eaton, the 7-foot-4 Jazz mainstay who missed just nine games in his first 10 seasons with the NBA team, was out all of last season with an ailing back.Earlier this summer, Eaton declined to comment on his future, but did say that he was unable to ride a bike or play golf, leading to speculation that his basketball career was over.

In 11 seasons with the Jazz, Eaton averaged six points and nearly eight rebounds a game but was more noted for his prolific shotblocking ability. His total of 3,064 blocked shots was second only to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Eaton and Jabbar were the only players to pass the 3,000 blocks plateau.

Eaton was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year twice, in 1985 and 1989, and made the NBA All-Defensive Team three times. In 1989 he was selected by the Western Conference coaches to play in the All-Star Game.