The Dallas Morning News

NBA’S Aldridge cites his health in retiring

Seagoville, UT product was No. 2 pick in 2007, played for 15 seasons

- By BRIAN MAHONEY

Seven-time NBA All-star Lamarcus Aldridge, who played at Seagoville and the University of Texas, retired after experienci­ng an irregular heartbeat.

Lamarcus Aldridge (Seagoville, UT) retired after he experience­d an irregular heartbeat during his final game with the Nets.

NEW YORK — Lamarcus Aldridge retired from the NBA on Thursday after saying he experience­d an irregular heartbeat during his final game with the Brooklyn Nets.

Aldridge, 35, posted a statement on social media saying the heart concerns he had during and after Brooklyn’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday were one of the “scariest things” he’s experience­d.

Aldridge, who was diagnosed with Wolff-parkinson-white syndrome — an abnormalit­y that can cause a rapid heartbeat — as a rookie in 2007, said he feels better now after getting it checked out but neverthele­ss decided to end his 15-year career.

“For 15 years I’ve put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and my family first,” Aldridge wrote.

The seven-time All-star, who played at Seagoville and two seasons at Texas, signed with the Nets on March 28, and he had become their starting center. He missed the last two games with what the team had called a NON-COVID-19 illness.

Nets general manager Sean Marks said the team fully supported Aldridge’s decision.

“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 said.

Aldridge joined the Nets after reaching a buyout agreement with the San Antonio Spurs and provided his new team with an inside post presence. The 6-11 Aldridge had the best of his five games with the Nets in the one before his heart trouble, scoring 22 points in a victory over New Orleans on April 7.

The No. 2 pick in the 2006 draft was long one of the best at his position, averaging 19.4 points in a career that began with nine seasons in Portland.

Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey praised Aldridge as one of the best players in the franchise’s history.

Aldridge went on to play 51⁄2 seasons with the Spurs. San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich called Aldridge a “consummate profession­al with a unique skill set and a deep respect for the game.”

He thanked all three teams in his post, saying Portland gave him some “unforgetta­ble years” after drafting a “skinny, Texas kid.”

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

 ?? Sarah Stier/getty Images ?? Lamarcus Aldridge, who played five games for Brooklyn after taking a buyout from the Spurs, averaged 19.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in 1,029 NBA games covering 15 seasons.
Sarah Stier/getty Images Lamarcus Aldridge, who played five games for Brooklyn after taking a buyout from the Spurs, averaged 19.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in 1,029 NBA games covering 15 seasons.

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