NBA All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge has retired in the middle of the season after he was diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening health issue.
The seven-time All-Star and Brooklyn Nets center is quitting the game, effective immediately, after he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat following the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, April 10, 2021.
“The next morning, I told the team what was going on and they were great [in] getting me to the hospital,” Aldridge, 35, penned for his 750K Twitter followers. “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 (@aldridge_12) April 15, 2021
“For 15 years I’ve put basketball first,” Aldridge, added. “And now, it is time to put my health and family first.”
Fans had been wondering what specific injury was ailing Aldridge since he had been conspicuously absent from the Nets for the past two games without an explanation.
Nets general manager Sean Marks backed Aldridge’s decision to walk away from the game when he still had something to offer.
“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,” Marks said in a statement obtained by ESPN.
It is actually a victory that Aldridge managed to play this long in the NBA since, according to ESPN, Aldridge was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome in 2007. This condition is “an extra electrical pathway between your heart’s upper and lower chambers that causes a rapid heartbeat,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Aldridge rose to star status with the Portland Trailblazers, where he spent the first nine years of his career. Current Trailblazers star Dame Lillard believes Aldridge’s number should be retired by that franchise.