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April 15, 2021 | 12:47 pm EDT Update

LaMarcus Aldridge announces retirement

Brooklyn Nets center-forward LaMarcus Aldridge announced his sudden retirement from the NBA on Thursday after he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat after a recent game. “Though I’m better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still one of the scariest things I’ve experienced,” Aldridge said in a statement posted on Twitter. “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’s time to put my health and family first.” Aldridge is 35 years old and has two children.
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LaMarcus Aldridge: Today, I write this letter with a heavy heart. My last game, I played dealing with an irrewgular 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. Though I’m better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still one of the scariest things I’ve experienced.
LaMarcus Aldridge: 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. I’m thankful for everything this game has given me: the great memories, including all the ups and the downs, and the friendships I’ve made and will keep with me forever. I thank Portland for drafting a skinny, Texas kid and giving him a chance. The city of Portland has given me some unforgettable years. 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. Last but not least, I want to thank Brooklyn. You wanted me for me. In a game that’s changing so much, you asked me to come and just do what I do which was good to hear. I’m sorry it didn’t get to last long, but I’ve definitely had fun being a part of this special group. You never know when something will come to an end, so make sure you enjoy it everyday. I can truly say I did just that.
Andre Drummond – who won no playoff games in eight seasons with the Pistons and Cavaliers – has been up-and-down since joining the defending-champion Lakers. Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma: “I mean, it’s just a process, man. It’s not going to happen overnight. Rome wasn’t built overnight. I think that for him, it’s a big adjustment. When you think about it, he’s kind of really never really been coached in his career. Playing in Detroit, in Cleveland, and then coming here into a championship organization, it’s tough. It’s tough.”
By signing Deck, the Thunder moved closer to the salary cap minimum. A team’s payroll must be at least 90% of the cap without incurring a penalty. “We’re excited about the player,” Daigneault said. “Our front office and our scouting staff really like him. He’s obviously played at a high level for a number of years and he’s a multi-positional, pretty versatile player from everything I understand. “We can’t wait to get him in the fold, get to know him a little bit, learn his game and see how he can help us this year and moving forward.”
If Irving is, at 29, still figuring some things out about himself, determining what is and is not important to him, then good for him. He’s entitled to think out loud. I didn’t agree with his anti-media stance at the beginning of the season, but so what? People can disagree about one thing and agree on 100 others, and vice versa. One can only present his or her objection. People, including NBA players — many (certainly not all) of whom use the word in casual conversation — are going to be slow to convince. The word is like a weed, hard to extricate permanently. It’s hard not to feel like a scold sometimes. No doubt, this will be dismissed in some quarters as out of touch with the times. But words, still, matter. NBA players are asked to give their support to so many causes; I do not seek some sort of campaign (though the potential power of one would be substantial). Rather, the hope is that players continue the discussion themselves, among themselves, and that more stars speak up and speak out.
When I covered the then-Washington Bullets for The Washington Post, at the end of one practice during training camp in 1989, two guys fighting to make the roster were in the locker room. It was just the two of them, both Black, and me. I wasn’t interviewing them; I was waiting for someone else. They were talking with one another, oblivious to my presence. And every other word was the N-word/’ga version. At that moment, Bernard King, the team’s star at the time, was walking through the locker room. He heard them talking. He stopped. He turned around. “Hey,” he said to them. “We don’t use that word in here.”