LaMarcus Aldridge retires due to irregular heartbeat

Due to an irregular heartbeat, LaMarcus Aldridge decided to call it a career on Thursday.

Brooklyn center LaMarcus Aldridge has retired from the NBA after experiencing an irregular heartbeat during the Nets’ game against the Lakers on Saturday.

The 35-year-old had missed the team’s last two games with a non-COVID-19 illness.

“I’ve made the difficult decision to retire from the NBA,” Aldridge said in a tweet Thursday. “For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and family first. I’m thankful for everything this game has given me: the great memories, including all the ups and downs, and the friendships I’ve made and will keep with me forever.”

Aldridge signed with Brooklyn on March 28 after agreeing to a buyout with San Antonio. He had spent the last 5.5 seasons with the Spurs following a nine-year stint with Portland.

“The city of Portland has given me some unforgettable years,” Aldridge said. “They will always remain in my heart. I want to thank the Spurs for letting me into the family and giving me 5 fun years.”

Aldridge averaged at least 21.1 points per game in seven of his 15 seasons. He went to seven All-Star Games and made the All-NBA Team five times. The University of Texas product finishes his career averaging 19.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots per game.

The Nets title odds at DraftKings shortened from +285 to +260 when they added Aldridge to the roster in March. He averaged 12.8 points in just five appearances with the team, playing 26 minutes per game for head coach Steve Nash.

DraftKings did not shift Brooklyn’s title odds following Thursday’s news. The Nets are still listed as the +250 ‘chalk’ to win the NBA Finals in July, with the Lakers (+350) and Clippers (+500) having the next-shortest odds.

Brooklyn will now need Blake Griffin, Nic Claxon and DeAndre Jordan to step up with Aldridge out of the mix. Jordan was out of the rotation for five games, but he returned for the last two when Aldridge was sidelined.

Guard Chris Chiozza fractured the third metacarpal of his shooting hand on Tuesday, which led to a successful surgery on Wednesday. He was averaging 4.0 points, 3.0 assists and 1.1 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per game. Nash said Chiozza is likely out for the remainder of the season.

The Nets are currently without star James Harden, who is dealing with a right hamstring strain. They are expected to re-evaluate the injury this weekend. Kevin Durant played 27 minutes on Tuesday before resting on Wednesday as he continues working his way back from a hamstring issue of his own.

Brooklyn’s big three of Harden, Durant and Kyrie Irving have played just seven games together. The Nets are one game behind Philadelphia for the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

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