After 15 years and nearly 20,000 points, LaMarcus Aldridge is calling it a career.
The Nets big man announced Thursday morning that he is retiring from the NBA, citing health concerns. Aldridge revealed that he played his most recent game with an irregular heartbeat. Back in 2007, he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a condition that causes a rapid heartbeat.
Aldridge, a five-time All-NBA and seven-time All-Star selection, was taken by the Bulls with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, then traded on draft night to the Trail Blazers. He spent his first nine seasons in Portland before signing with the Spurs in 2015. He reached a buyout agreement with San Antonio last month, clearing the way for him to join Brooklyn, but he was only able to play five games in a Nets uniform.
Here is the latest news on Aldridge’s unexpected retirement.
Why did LaMarcus Aldridge retire?
In a statement posted from his official Twitter account, Aldridge explained that his heart condition was “one of the scariest things” he had ever experienced, adding that it was “time to put my health and family first.”
His statement in full:
Today, I write this letter with a heavy heart. My last game, I played while dealing with an irregular heartbeat. Later on that night, my rhythm got even worse which really worried me even more. The next morning, I told the team what was going on and they were great getting me to the hospital and getting me checked out. Though I’m better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced.
With that being said, I’ve made the difficult decision to retire from the NBA. For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and family first. I’m thankful for everything this game has given me: the great memories, including all the ups and the downs, and the friendships I’ve made and will keep with me forever.
I thank Portland for drafting a skinny, Texas kid and giving him a chance. The city of Portland has given me some unforgettable years. They will always remain in my heart. I want to thank the Spurs for letting me into the family and giving me five fun years. Last but not least, I want to thank Brooklyn. You wanted me for me. In a game that’s changing so much, you asked me to come and just do what I do which was good to hear. I’m sorry it didn’t get to last long, but I’ve definitely had fun being a part of this special group.
You never know when something will come to an end, so make sure you enjoy it every day. I can truly say I did just that.
How did the Nets react to LaMarcus Aldridge’s announcement?
Nets general manager Sean Marks released a statement saying that Brooklyn “fully supports” Aldridge and wishes his family “much health and happiness going forward.”
The Nets organization fully supports LaMarcus’ decision, and while we value what he has brought to our team during his short time in Brooklyn, his health and well being are far more important than the game of basketball. We know this was not an easy decision for him, but after careful consideration and consultation with numerous medical experts, he made the best decision for him, his family and for his life after basketball. We wish LaMarcus, Kia and their family much health and happiness going forward.
LaMarcus Aldridge career stats
- 19.4 points per game
- 8.2 rebounds per game
- 2.0 assists per game
- 1.1 blocks per game
- 0.7 steals per game
- 1.6 turnovers per game
- 34.2 minutes per game
- 49.1 percent shooting
- 32.1 percent 3-point shooting
- 81.1 percent free throw shooting