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Nets big LaMarcus Aldridge retires due to irregular heartbeat

Michael Holley and Michael Smith applaud LaMarcus Aldridge's decision to retire, and say it could help others speak up since nothing is more important than one's health.

LaMarcus Aldridge made two All-NBA second teams, three All-NBA third teams and seven All-Star teams with the Trail Blazers and Spurs. He had overwhelming success in the playoffs for at least a couple memorable games with Portland then helped San Antonio reach the 2017 Western Conference finals. Aldridge put himself back into the forefront by sacrificing more than $5 million in a buyout with the Spurs and signing with the loaded Nets.

Now, suddenly, he’s retiring.


This is stunning timing, which sparks even more fear about Aldridge’s health. Hopefully, he’ll be OK.

Though never considered one of the very best players in the league, Aldridge has a reasonable Hall of Fame case. He had a long prime – 11-13 years, depending how you want to count the edge seasons – and accumulated plenty of individual accolades. His old-school style, heavy on post-ups and mid-range isolations, drew plenty of fans.

This is a sad end to Aldridge’s career. It seemed the 35-year-old had more to give.

Aldridge started and played 22-29 minutes in his five games with Brooklyn. He was up-and-down but vowed to shape up defensively as the playoffs approached. Aldridge also talked about eventually returning to Portland someday.

The Nets have other options at center – Jeff Green, DeAndre Jordan, Nicolas Claxton, Blake Griffin. Obviously, Brooklyn has margin for error around stars Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

But for Aldridge to retire now, like this, is a heck of a blow.