Malika Andrews: Kevin Durant said that he was “shocked” when LaMarcus Aldridge called him to say that he was retiring. Durant said Aldridge’s NBA tenure was “Hall of Fame level.” Durant added that when he visited Texas, Aldridge was his host “and to play with him on his last game was surreal.”
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Tom Orsborn: DeMar said he had a “great time” playing with @LaMarcus Aldridge: “Hell of a player…a dynamic player…a Hall of Famer, somebody I watched when he was in college, was a fan of during his time in Portland. To be able to play with him was definitely an honor.”
Chris Bosh: Like everyone else who pays attention to basketball, I was shocked this week at the news that LaMarcus Aldridge was retiring. Over fifteen lights-out seasons in the NBA, LaMarcus became a seven-time All-Star, with a fadeaway jumper you just had to admire, even if he was draining it in your face. But he also became the kind of player you could develop a relationship with from the stands or through the TV: a big man who could run the court and put up big numbers on both sides of the ball—and never let his head get too big about it.
Chris Bosh: Over the last chapter of his career, LaMarcus was dealing on and off with a medical condition: an irregular heartbeat. “For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first,” he wrote in the letter announcing his retirement. “Now, it is time to put my health and family first.” It’s a tough decision to make, let alone in the middle of the season. In fact, I can’t even say it’s the one I would’ve made. I tried to keep playing even after I found out about the medical condition that led to my own retirement. It takes some nerve to risk your life to play ball, sure—but it takes real bravery to set that aside because you have a family to look out for.
Chris Bosh: That’s the choice LaMarcus made. And I’d say it requires a different kind of thinking than most pros are used to. Just take a look at the superteam he left: KD. Kyrie. Blake Griffin. Not every player could convince himself to leave a championship contending squad like that. But sometimes, the best decision isn’t the easiest one to make—that’s what I texted him the other day. And the mark of any good player or leader—hell, any good man—is the ability to act for the greater good of your team. In this case, that team was LaMarcus’ family.
Alex Schiffer: Speaking at shootaround, Jeff Green said he found out about LaMarcus Aldridge’s retirement from his Instagram post and was shocked. But having had his own heart surgery, Green completely understands and said the priority is Aldridge’s health. Reached out to him yesterday.
In 2014, he said he wanted to stay in Portland and cement his legacy as the greatest Blazer of all time… then he chose to leave for San Antonio less than a year later in free agency. And while in San Antonio, he said he would like to one day reunite with Damian Lillard and end his career in Portland … then when presented with just that chance after a San Antonio buyout this spring, he instead chose Brooklyn. In between his mixed messages, there were some incredible moments. Some incredible production. And some real growth as a person. But there was also a lot of bitterness, pettiness and moodiness that led to much of the hurt.
Behind the scenes, though, it was a struggle. He battled insecurity, never feeling he was valued as much as Brandon Roy or even Greg Oden. He brooded during his early years with Roy, much of it stemming from him not being asked to a dinner in Memphis, which turned out to be more of a miscommunication than a slight.
And he struggled with bitterness and pettiness as he felt threatened by Lillard’s emergence in 2012, and the adoration of the city that was quickly heaped upon the young guard. He would turn down NBA public service announcements, then complain when Lillard did them, pointing it out as proof the organization favored Lillard.
The last two times I talked to Aldridge in San Antonio, I was struck by how at peace he seemed, and how much his perspective had changed. There was no angst about where he stood or how he was perceived. He smiled easily, talked about the importance of family, and was curious about people within the Blazers’ organization.
Kellan Olson: Chris Paul said he had a chance to talk to LaMarcus Aldridge this morning. Said it put a lot into perspective for all of them who have been playing the game since they were kids and then suddenly it’s done. Glad he’s OK and getting right but said he hates this for Aldridge.
Paul Garcia: Statement from Coach Pop on LaMarcus Aldridge retiring pic.twitter.com/qBTXkxJiE0
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.
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.
StatMuse: LaMarcus Aldridge is one of only 25 players in NBA history with 19,000+ career points and 8,000+ career rebounds. A 7x All-Star and 5x All-NBA. Hell of a career. pic.twitter.com/CLqqVFVNn2
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May 8, 2021 | 8:54 pm EDT Update
Fred Katz: There it is. Russell Westbrook has officially tied Oscar Robertson’s all-time triple-double record of 181 for a career, a record that has stood for 47 years. Westbrook now has 21 triple-doubles in his last 25 games and will go for the record Monday against the Hawks.
Russell Westbrook is making history every other day at this point and Saturday night was no exception. The Wizards’ point guard earned his 7,988th assist against the Pacers, passing former Wizards point guard Rod Strickland for 12th all-time on the NBA’s career assists list.
Tom Orsborn: Pop on Carmelo: “He loves the game. He’s having a great year doing a great job. He has been wonderful throughout his career. Anything that’s good that happens for him, I’m very excited about it, because he has done a lot.”