LaMarcus Aldridge on Retirement: "For 15 years, I've put basketball first"
Thursday morning, LaMarcus Aldridge of the Brooklyn Nets shed light on his retirement via Twitter. The heart felt statement claims that following his last game presence, April 10 against the Los Angeles Lakers, he played with an "irregular heartbeat."
Following the game, the rhythm of his heart grew more out of control. The next day, he informed his team of the situation and was given nothing but attention and sympathy. The Nets players and staff assisted him to the hospital where he can achieve the proper medical attention necessary.
Where is he at now in terms of his health?
"Better now," he says. However, he has retired from playing basketball and is diverting his attention now on his health and family.
"For 15 years, I've put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and family first," said Aldridge.
Aldridge has had health complications in the past that have enabled him to put his career on pause. He was diagnosed in 2007 with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, an issue that impedes on the electrical system of the heart. In Portland taking on the Los Angeles Clippers, Aldridge didn't make it far into the game before being transported to Providence Hospital for shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat. It was then he was later diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, keeping him away from the court for the remainder of the season.
Then again, before the start of his 2011-12 season with the Portland Trail Blazers, he had surgery to fix the underlaying factors of his condition.
The 2020-21 season would have been his sixteenth season with the NBA. A Texas native himself, he enrolled at the University of Texas in Austin where he played for two years. Aldridge earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and was named a member of the Big 12 All-Defensive Team in 2006.
Following his early stardom as a Longhorn, he entered the 2006 NBA Draft. He was drafted to the Chicago Bulls initially as the second overall pick but was traded immediately to the Portland Trail Blazers. In his first season he was named a member of the NBA All-Rookie First Team for the 2006-07 season.
Aldridge had nine seasons with the Trail Blazers, then returned back to his roots in Texas with the San Antonio Spurs on a four-year contract valued at $80 million. He was named an All-Star for seven years, from 2012-19, and absent in 2017.
In his fifteen seasons, Aldridge had nine play-off appearances (five with the Trail Blazers and four with the Spurs).
Not long after his announcement, the Brooklyn Nets released a statement saying the organization "fully supports LaMarcus' decision" and they know this was "not an easy decision for him."
The Trail Blazers, where Aldridge spent most of his career, has yet to release a statement or show support of his decision.
Losing a star to retirement can put a detriment on a team on its own. But, losing one to a health-related problem can withstand more of an emotional toll. As a team, Fans Only Sportz wishes nothing but the best for LaMarcus Aldridge in health and in his future.