There was startling and sad news from the NBA today after Brooklyn Nets star LaMarcus Aldridge, 35, announced via social media that he was retiring from basketball, with immediate effect, after a 15-year career.
In his post, Aldridge revealed that he had played his last game in the NBA while suffering from an irregular heartbeat. After the game, the conditioned seemed to worsen.
Aldridge informed team doctors, who organised for their player to go to hospital where he was checked out by clinicians.
However, while Aldridge says that he has recovered from the issue, it has given him second thoughts about continuing his basketball career any longer.
— LaMarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) April 15, 2021
“Scariest Things I’ve Experienced”
In his lengthy and heartfelt post, Aldridge commented that while he was now feeling better, the incident “was still one the scariest things I’ve 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 have made I will keep with me forever.”
He concluded his post by stating:
“You never know when something will come to an end, so make sure you enjoy it everyday. I can truly say I did just that.”
Health Issues Throughout Career
Aldridge’s decision is understandable when you consider that the player has had several other major health issues throughout his career, in addition to the standard bruises, lumps bumps and worse you expect in a 15-year top level basketball career.
Since the 2006-07 season, he has undergone a series of ablation procedures on his heart after being diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. This is a form of ventricular tachycardia which can give a person a rapid and irregular heartbeat.
However, despite his health concerns, Aldridge has enjoyed a superb career, with seven All-Star selections and almost 20,000 regular season points.
A native of Dallas, Aldridge went to college at the University of Texas in Austin, after he decided not to join the NBA direct from high school after advice from Shaquille O’Neal. He spent two years there before electing to declare for the NBA Draft in 2006.
He was drafted second in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls, but was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers for Tyrus Thomas and Viktor Khryapa immediately afterwards.
He played the majority of his career in Portland, spending nine years there, earning three NBA All Star nominations during that time during his final few years with the team.
In July 2015, Aldridge left Oregon and moved back to Texas to join the San Antonio Spurs where he would play across six seasons for the team. Injuries to his shoulder, hip and quadriceps meant Aldridge didn’t play much during his last two years with the Spurs. In March 2021, he agreed a contract buyout agreement with San Antonio.
That freed up Aldridge to move to the Eastern Conference chasing Brooklyn Nets, however he would only play 5 games for the Nets before announcing his retirement on the 15th April 2021.
He will always be associated with his trademark fadeaway jump shot and he finishes his career as one of just 25 players in NBA history to have 19,000+ career points and 8,000+ career rebounds.