LaMarcus Aldridge announces retirement after irregular heartbeat diagnosis

Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY
·3 min read

Brooklyn Nets center-forward LaMarcus Aldridge announced his sudden retirement from the NBA on Thursday after he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat after a recent game.

“Though I’m better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still one of the scariest things I’ve experienced,” Aldridge said in a statement posted on Twitter. “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’s time to put my health and family first.”

Aldridge is 35 years old and has two children.

Aldridge reached a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs in late March, and after he cleared waivers, he signed with the Nets, who are expected to compete for the Eastern Conference championship.

LaMarcus Aldridge, who signed with the Nets last month after a buyout from San Antonio, said he was recently diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.
LaMarcus Aldridge, who signed with the Nets last month after a buyout from San Antonio, said he was recently diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.

Aldridge is a seven-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA selection and played 14-plus seasons in the league. He started his career in Portland, signed with San Antonio in free agency in 2015 and then joined the Nets for what he hoped would be a championship push.

He averaged 19.4 points and 8.2 rebounds and shot 49.1% from the field in 1,029 career games.

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In 2007, Aldridge was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart disorder which is “an extra electrical pathway between your heart's upper and lower chambers causes a rapid heartbeat. … The episodes of fast heartbeats usually aren't life-threatening, but serious heart problems can occur,” according to the Mayo Clinic’s web site.

Aldridge scored 12 points in 23 minutes in Brooklyn’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. He didn’t play in Brooklyn’s games on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“My last game I played while dealing with an irregular heartbeart,” Aldridge wrote on social media. “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 me to the hospital and getting me checked out.”

He expressed his appreciation for the Trail Blazers, Spurs and Nets.

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

Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey praised Aldridge's tenure with Portland.

“LaMarcus had a storied NBA career and his time as a Trail Blazer will always be remembered fondly," Olshey said in a statement. "Any success we experienced during his tenure in Portland would not have been possible without his work ethic, dedication and talent.

"During his nine seasons in Portland, LaMarcus battled through multiple injuries and health concerns but never once allowed them to affect his commitment to his teammates and coaches on the court or the people that benefited from his outreach in the community off the court.

"He will go down as one of the best players in the history of the franchise and while it is sad to see his career cut short, he will always be a member of the Trail Blazer family and we wish him the best in all future endeavors."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: LaMarcus Aldridge retires suddenly after irregular heartbeat diagnosis