The NBA world got an announcement it wasn't expecting Thursday morning, when seven-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge announced he was retiring.
"My last game, I played while dealing with an irregular heartbeat," Aldridge wrote in his retirement announcement. "Later on that night, my rhythm got even worse, which worried me even more… Though I’m better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still one of the scariest things I’ve experienced.
"With that being said, I’ve made the difficult decision to retire from the NBA," Aldridge wrote.
Aldridge dealt with heart issues his entire NBA career. During his rookie season, Aldridge experienced shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat in the first quarter of a Blazers-Clippers game. He was taken to a hospital and later diagnosed with Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome.
The condition is an electrical abnormality of the heart that can cause dizziness and rapid heartbeat. Aldridge underwent an ablation procedure to correct the ailment at the time and missed the remaining eight games of the 2006–07 season.
Aldridge experienced a minor heart arrhythmia with the Spurs, as well, causing him to miss time.
The Nets added Aldridge on March 28 as a free agent after the Spurs bought him out of his deal. Both parties had agreed to mutually part ways in early March, with plans to waive him if they could not trade him before the March 25 NBA trade deadline.
He played in just five games with the Nets, his last being a 126-101 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on April 10.
Aldridge averaged 12.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 blocks per game in his short time with the Nets.
"For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and family first," Aldridge wrote in his farewell post.
"I thank Portland for drafting a skinny, Texas kid and giving me a chance. The city of Portland has given me some unforgettable years.
"You never know when something will come to an end, so make sure you enjoy it every day. I can truly say I did just that."