Brooklyn Nets big man LaMarcus Aldridge is prioritizing his health over his career. Aldridge announced his retirement from the NBA on Thursday, revealing he experienced an irregular heartbeat during Saturday’s game.
In a statement, Aldridge laid out the situation, saying he told the Nets he was experiencing issues and the team sent him to the doctor Sunday. Aldridge said he was doing better now, but called the situation “one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced.”
Aldridge, 35, said he experienced an irregular heartbeat during Saturday’s game, and that his “rhythm got even worse” later that night. He informed the team about the issue the next morning and was sent to the hospital to get checked out. While Aldridge said he was improving, he still decided to retire from the NBA, saying, “For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and family first.”
Aldridge thanked the Portland Trail Blazers for “drafting a skinny, Texas kid and giving him a chance.” The Trail Blazers traded for Aldridge moments after he was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 NBA draft.
Aldridge spent nine seasons in Portland before joining the San Antonio Spurs for the 2015-16 season. Aldridge remained with the Spurs until March, when the team bought him out. A few days later, Aldridge signed with the Nets. He played five games with the team, averaging 12.8 points and 4.8 rebounds.
The Nets issued a statement Thursday saying the team “fully supports” Aldridge’s decision to retire.
The Nets thanked Aldridge for his contributions to the team, and said Aldridge consulted with “numerous medical experts” before retiring. The team wished Aldridge and his family “much health and happiness going forward.”
Aldridge averaged 19.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game over his 15-year career in the NBA. He was voted to seven All-Star teams and made the All-NBA team five times.
Aldridge signed with the Nets out of a desire to win a championship. Aldridge could still receive a ring if the Nets win it all this season.