LaMarcus Aldridge retires from NBA due to heart condition

“For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and family first,” the NBA player wrote in a statement shared on social media.

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NBA veteran LaMarcus Aldridge announced his early retirement Thursday due to a health condition.

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In a letter shared on social media using a colorful graphic, Aldridge shared he had decided to put his health and family before his professional basketball career.

“Today, I write this letter with a heavy heart,” the 35-year-old athlete opened. “My last game, I played while dealing with an irregular heartbeat. Later 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 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.” 

LaMarcus Aldridge during his last game on April 10, 2021.

Aldridge was signed to the Brooklyn Nets this season. He played his final game on April 10, after missing two games before making the announcement.

“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,” he wrote. “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 thank Portland for drafting a skinny, Texas kid and giving him a chance.”

A Dallas native, Aldridge has two sons that he posts regularly on his Instagram account.

A former Texas Longhorn, the 6’11” center got his start in the NBA with the Portland Trailblazers where he played from 2006 through 2015, according to his ESPN biography. He went on to play for the San Antonio Spurs from 2015 through 2020 and finally, the Brooklyn Nets.

Aldridge is a seven-time NBA All-Star who was also named to five All-NBA teams in his career. His signature shot was his fadeaway jumper.

In 2007 Aldridge was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which causes changes in heart rhythm, and had a procedure back then to correct it.

“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,” he wrote.

The Brooklyn Nets shared their appreciation of and respect for Aldridge with their own statement. Nets General Manager Sean Marks authored the statement, released on social media.

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LaMarcus Aldridge in what would be his last game with Brooklyn and in his NBA career. (Getty Images)

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“While we value what he has brought to our team during his short time in Brooklyn, his health and [well-being] are far more important than the game of basketball. 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,” Marks wrote. “We wish LaMarcus, Kia, and their family much health and happiness going forward.”

Though his unexpected retirement had to sting, Aldridge ended his letter on a positive note.

“You never know when something will come to an end, so make sure you enjoy it every day,” he wrote in conclusion. “I can truly say I did just that.” 

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