Brooklyn Nets forward LaMarcus Aldridge announced on Thursday that he is retiring from the NBA after a scare with an irregular heartbeat.
“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,” Aldridge wrote. “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.
“For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and family first.”
Aldridge was sidelined for Wednesday’s tilt against the Philadelphia 76ers for what was originally described as an illness.
The 35-year-old only played five games with the Nets, signing on March 28 shortly after being waived by the San Antonio Spurs, with whom he spent the previous five-plus seasons with.
“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,” he wrote. “I’m sorry it didn’t get to last long, but I’ve definitely had fun being a part of this special group.”
Aldridge was one of the better and underrated big men of his generation, building an All-Star resume during a nine-year stint with the Portland Trail Blazers — though it took a convoluted journey just to get there.
The No. 2 draft pick in 2006 that was used to take Aldridge was originally owned by the New York Knicks, who traded it in a package deal to the Chicago Bulls for Eddy Curry, Antonio Davis, and a first-rounder that became Wilson Chandler.
On draft night, though, the Bulls traded Aldridge to the Blazers for Viktor Khryapa and Tyrus Thomas.
Needless to say, the Blazers won that deal, as Aldridge averaged 19.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game during his stint in Portland, making four All-Star teams.
He made three more All-Star appearances with San Antonio, ending his career with a 19.4 points per game average along with 8.2 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks.
“You never know when something will come to an end, so make sure you enjoy it every day,” Aldridge wrote. “I can truly say I just did that.”