BROOKLYN, N.Y. — After missing a couple of games because of what was termed “illness,” former Texas center LaMarcus Aldridge announced Thursday that he is retiring from the NBA because of an irregular heartbeat.
The last game in which Aldridge played was Saturday’s 126-101 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
“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,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement released by the team. “We wish LaMarcus, Kia and their family much health and happiness going forward.”
Over 15 seasons, the first nine with Portland and six, including 21 games this season, with San Antonio, Aldridge earned five All-NBA honors and was selected for seven All-Star games.
After playing two seasons at UT, Aldridge was drafted with the second overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls, who then traded his rights to Portland for its pick, Tyrus Thomas, and Viktor Khryapa. He became the Trail Blazers’ all-time leading rebounder, with 5,434, and finished as the third-highest scorer in franchise history, with 12,562 points.
In two seasons at Texas, from 2004-06, Aldridge averaged 13.5 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game.
Aldridge played just five games with the Nets after signing with them in March. He averaged 12.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots per game.
His retirement statement, in its entirety:
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 with 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 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 think 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 5 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 everyday. I can truly say I did just that.