LaMarcus Aldridge has announced that he will step away from the National Basketball Association after 15 years. In a letter to his fans, Aldridge revealed that his retirement was triggered by an irregular heartbeat. He explained that he started to experience discomfort while playing against the Lakers on Saturday, which prompted him to go to the hospital after the game.
“My last game, I played while dealing with an irregular heartbeat. Later on that night, my rhythm got even worse which really worried me even more. The next morning, I told the team what was going on and they were great getting me to the hospital and getting me checked out," Aldridge wrote.
“Though I’m better now, what I felt with my heart that night was till one of the scariest things I’ve experienced. With that being said, I’ve made the difficult decision to retire from the NBA. For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first, and now it is time to put my health and family first.”
Shortly after he announced he retirement, a number of media members and players wished him well and voiced their support. Most importantly, members of the basketball community offered him well wishes as his heart recovers.
"[He had a] hall of fame career and [he was an] even better person," former NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas tweeted.
"His rookie year he was diagnosed with irregular heartbeat syndrome, so this has been something he's dealt with his whole career. It's sad it has to end like this," Yahoo! Sports Writer Chris Haynes added.
Aldridge finishes his career with a resume that could put him in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was selected to be a part of the NBA All-Rookie team. He also appeared in seven NBA all-star games and earned five All-NBA team selections. At this time, Basketball Reference lists his chances of being inducted into the hall of fame at 50.89%.
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