Brooklyn Nets: LaMarcus Aldridge shockingly retires from NBA

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 05: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) LaMarcus Aldridge #21 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 05: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) LaMarcus Aldridge #21 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

After being bought out by the San Antonio Spurs, the LaMarcus Aldridge retirement party appeared to be drawing closer before the Brooklyn Nets threw him a lifeline. Given his offensive skills, Aldridge was viewed as the frontcourt presence Brooklyn needed in the franchise’s chase for its first championship.

Aldridge played five games with the Nets, averaging 12.8 points and 4.4 rebounds while keeping their free-flowing offense moving. Brooklyn appeared to have found their missing piece in the former Portland Trail Blazers star.

Unfortunately, the basketball gods and Aldridge’s body had something else in mind. After missing the last two games due to what was termed an “illness,” Aldridge has surprisingly announced that he isn’t stepping on an NBA court again.

Aldridge confirmed on Twitter that he has played his last game in the NBA, citing an irregular heartbeat. Aldridge claimed that the pain he felt after his last game was “one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced.” Nets GM Sean Marks backed Aldridge’s decision to call it quits, saying that his “health and well-being are far more important than the game of basketball.”

Brooklyn Nets LaMarcus Aldridge has called it a career.

Aldridge, who was picked second overall by Portland in 2006, ended his career as one of the best power forwards of the last few decades. He averaged 19.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game with the Trail Blazers and Spurs, being named an All-Star seven times over that span.

Aldridge’s post offense was the stuff of legend, as his lethal mid-range jumper made him one of the highest-scoring bigs in the league on an annual basis. While his defense eroded with age, his Portland tenure proved that he was, at one point, one of the best interior defenders.

The return of DeAndre Jordan to the rotation should help the Nets replace Aldridge in the short-term, with Nicolas Claxton and Alize Johnson likely slated for bigger roles off of the bench now that Aldridge has left the game.

Even though he couldn’t help the Nets in the postseason this year, Aldridge has been one of the best big men the game has had to offer for over a decade, and he will get some Hall of Fame consideration. It’s unfortunate it had to end this way, but LMA’s long-term health is more important than anything right now.