The news means that Aldridge’s impressive 15-year career has come to a close. After arriving in the NBA in 2006, the former No. 2 overall pick went on to make seven All-Star teams and five All-NBA teams as he became one of the most talented post scorers of his generation.
Aldridge released a statement explaining his decision, citing health concerns after he played with an irregular heartbeat in the final game of his career.
“My last game, I played while dealing with an irregular heartbeat,” Aldridge wrote. “Later on that night, my rhythm got even worse which really worried me even more. The next morning, I told the team what was going on and they were great getting 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 retired from the NBA. For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and family first.”
— LaMarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) April 15, 2021
Aldridge’s announcement comes soon after he agreed to a deal with the Nets on March 28, following a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs. He played in just five games for Brooklyn, with his last appearance coming on April 10.
“The Nets organization fully supports LaMarcus’ decision, and while we value what he has brought to our team during his short time in Brooklyn, his health and well being a re far more important than the game of basketball,” Nets GM Sean Marks wrote in a statement. “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. We wish LaMarcus, Kia and their family much health and happiness going forward.”
Nets GM Sean Marks on LaMarcus Aldridge retirement: “The Nets organization fully supports LaMarcus’ decision, and while we value what he has brought to our team, his health and well being are far more important than the game of basketball…” pic.twitter.com/ZNLml1BYWA
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) April 15, 2021
Aldridge spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers after being selected with the second overall pick in the 2006 draft. He made the Western Conference All Star team in each of his final four years with the Blazers before signing a deal with the San Antonio Spurs in the 2015 offseason.
The 6-foot-11 big man continued to thrive under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, earning three more All Star nods and starting 373 games for the Spurs. However, postseason success continued to elude Aldridge as he never made the NBA Finals. At 35, he hoped to end that drought with the Brooklyn Nets in 2021.
Aldridge averaged 19.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks over the course of his 15-year career.