Brooklyn Nets center LaMarcus Aldridge shocked the NBA world as he announced his retirement from the NBA after experiencing an irregular heartbeat during his final game played. Against the Los Angeles Lakers over the last weekend, Aldridge suffered an irregular heartbeat and it worsened during the night.
"For 15 years I've put basketball first," Aldridge wrote, per ESPN. "And now, it is time to put my health and family first." When Aldridge told the Nets what happened against the Lakers, they immediately sent him to the hospital for a check.
"The next morning, I told the team what was going on and they were great getting me to the hospital," Aldridge wrote. "Though I'm better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still one of the scariest things I've experienced."
The Nets understand Aldridge's decision
When Aldridge joined the Nets, he said: "I'm not here to be an All-Star. That's not what I'm trying to do. I'm just trying to bring the value, try to bring the things I'm good at and trying to help this team win.
I'm not worried about being an All-Star anymore." "We know this was not an easy decision for him, but after careful consideration and consultation with medical experts, he made the best decision for him, his family and for his life after basketball," Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement.
Portland Trail Blazers guard and Aldridge's former teammate Damian Lillard was shocked to hear the news. "I think in a situation like this basketball is the least of his concerns and everyone else's concern," said Lillard.
"So I'm sure it was a tough decision for him, but I'm glad he made the decision in the best interest of him and his family." Aldridge spent the last few seasons with the San Antonio Spurs before joining the Nets.
"We're grateful for his contributions, both on and off the court, during his time here in San Antonio," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. "I'm proud of him for making this difficult decision and we wish him and his family all of the best in the future."
When Aldridge signed with the Nets, head coach Steve Nash said: "He has the ability to make 3-pointers, so that opens the floor up. He understands that this is a different role and a different team. I want him to find that natural balance between the way he has traditionally played and the way we play."