Former San Antonio Spurs star big man LaMarcus Aldridge has announced his retirement from the NBA due to ongoing issues with an irregular heartbeat. It’s an issue he has dealt with before. He was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome his rookie season when he suffered from shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat during a game for the Portland Trail Blazers. He missed the final eight games of that season, as well as a few with the Spurs during the 2016-17 season with a minor arrhythmia.
He released the following statement through his Twitter account:
Aldridge last played on April 10 as the Brooklyn Nets faced the Los Angeles Lakers when he reportedly suffered another episode, which he describes as his scariest yet, leading to his decision to retire after just five games with his new club.
Aldridge signed with the Spurs in the summer of 2015, marking the franchise’s biggest get in free agency, and in five-and-a-half seasons he would go on to make three All-Star appearances, two All-NBA teams, and help the team expand their playoff streak to an NBA record-tying 22 seasons.
He last played for the Spurs on March 1 in an overtime loss to the Nets. He had been dealing with shoulder and hip issues throughout the season and had been benched in favor of Jakob Poeltl. When the Spurs were unable execute a trade that would work well for both sides, they bought him out on March 25 before he signed with the Nets in hopes of winning a championship alongside Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Blake Griffin. Unfortunately, his latest bout with heart issues forced him to put things into perspective and make the tough decision to retire.
Thanks again for everything, LMA! Take care of yourself, and get well soon.