NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets center LaMarcus Aldridge announced on Twitter on Thursday that he is retiring from the NBA after experiencing an irregular heartbeat during his final appearance with the team.
“For 15 years I’ve put basketball first,” Aldridge wrote. “And now, it is time to put my health and family first.”
Aldridge, 35, said he experienced the irregular heartbeat during the Nets’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, after which his condition worsened.
“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.”
— LaMarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) April 15, 2021
Aldridge had missed the Nets’ past two games with what the team called a non-COVID-19 illness.
Nets general manager Sean Marks said the team fully supports Aldridge’s decision to retire.
“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.
During an appearance on ESPN’s Jalen & Jacoby, former Trailblazers teammate Damian Lillard said he was “shocked” to hear the news of Aldridge’s retirement.
“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.”
In 2007, Aldridge was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, “an extra electrical pathway between your heart’s upper and lower chambers that causes a rapid heartbeat,” according to the Mayo Clinic. It is not clear if Aldridge’s recent scare is related to that condition.
Aldridge signed with the Nets on March 28 after agreeing to a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs, where he had spent the previous 5½ seasons. The seven-time All-Star spent the first nine years of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich called Aldridge a “consummate professional with a unique skill set and a deep respect for the game.”
“We’re grateful for his contributions, both on and off the court, during his time here in San Antonio,” 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.”
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.