LaMarcus Aldridge has suddenly announced his retirement due to the heart problem he experienced in his last game with the Brooklyn Nets. The news has caused a stir in the League. The 35-year-old center noticed the symptoms of his heart condition in the game against the Lakers on March 10. He has no longer played and this Thursday he announced that he was abandoning professional basketball through Twitter. “For 15 years I have put basketball first,” he has written. “And now is the time to put my health and my family first.”
The Nets added Aldridge on March 28 after the center terminated his contract with the San Antonio Spurs, the team in which he played the last four and a half seasons and to which he arrived as a consolidated star after his long stint in Portland .
Aldridge explains in his tweet that, after noticing that his heart was beating irregularly in the game against the Lakers, his health has worsened. One day after the game, the Nets decided to take him to the hospital. “Even though I’m better now, what I felt in my heart that night was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced,” explains Aldridge.
Nets general manager Sean Marks said the team fully supports Aldridge’s decision to retire. “We know it was not an easy decision for him, but after evaluating him and consulting with medical specialists, he has made the best decision for himself, his family and for his life after basketball.”
In 2007, Aldridge was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, “an additional electrical pathway between the upper and lower chambers of the heart that causes a rapid heartbeat,” according to the Mayo Clinic. It is not clear whether Aldridge’s condition is related to that condition.
Aldridge, born in Dallas, played for the University of Texas and was chosen by the Chicago Bulls in the second position of the draft 2006 although he was immediately traded to Porltand Trailblazers. He has been an All Star seven times. His performance was less in recent years and this season he averaged 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists.
Aldridge had started all five games he played with the Nets. Steve Nash, the coach of the Brooklyn team, hoped that Aldirdge would become a stronghold for his team in the interior of the area. It was guessed that he could be the best antidote to powerful centers like Cameroonian Joel Embiid of the Sixers, one of the main favorites in the Eastern Conference. The Nets have alternatives, however, because they have veteran DeAndre Jordan, also an All Star, and promising backup center Nicolas Claxton, who turns 22 this Saturday. They also have Blake Griffin, another player who has been an All Star and who was also able to play pivot.