Recently added Brooklyn Nets big man LaMarcus Aldridge announced his retirement from NBA basketball this morning, putting his health first.
Aldridge released a statement via his official Twitter handle saying that he’s recently discovered an irregular heartbeat, and is stepping away from the game to care for himself.
“My last game, I played while dealing with an irregular heartbeat. Later on that night, my rhythm got even worse, which really worried more even more,” Aldridge revealed. “Though I feel better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still one of the scariest things I’ve experienced. With that being said, I’ve made the 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.”
According to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes, a former Trail Blazers reporter with Comcast, Aldridge had dealt with irregular heartbeat syndrome his entire NBA career, having been originally diagnosed during his rookie season.
Nets GM Sean Marks lauded Aldridge’s family-first decision:
Aldridge signed with the Nets in late March after reaching a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs. He only played (and started in) five games with the Nets this season. Previously, he had spent nine seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, and six more with the San Antonio Spurs. The seven-time NBA All-Star averaged 19.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game through his 15-year career after being drafted second overall in 2006.
You may not even realize his accomplishments before doing the research, but Aldridge is in elite company for the era in which he played. In a league trending perhaps too far into three-point range, he was most primarily known for his exceptional mid-range game, which is among the best we’ve seen since he entered the league.