Kerry Eggers: Re The Athletic, @LaMarcus Aldridge on having @Portland Trail Blazers retire his No. 12: “I grew there. I have nothing but great memories. I became a man in that city. I would love for them to retire my number. It would be a great honor for me to be up there and be part of that great history.”
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“I’ve been depressed, and I’m trying to figure out how to navigate through not competing on the floor, learning not to be depressed,” Aldridge told The Athletic. “I still love basketball. I still feel like I have a lot to give. But even now, I’m still trying to find myself. When you go from doing something you love for so long and you lose it overnight, it’s a shock. Even though I knew it was the right decision, those next couple days there was a lot of back and forth with my family, my agent, with the Nets, and they definitely supported me either way. They were upfront and I thought they were great with (saying): ‘This is on you; we don’t know how you felt and how you feel, so we’re going to follow your lead.’ I thought that was awesome of them. I never felt any pressure to come back or make a decision based on the season. It was always: We fully understand what you’re going through, and so if this is what you want to do, you have our support.
“It was tough because I felt I was at a location and with a team that embraced me. I embraced them. We all had a common goal and we had chips on our shoulder to prove something. It was bitter for me. I had finally found the cohesiveness that I had wanted for a while in a group. And then all of a sudden I can’t play anymore. I felt if I stayed with the group, we definitely could get to the Finals and do something special. Those guys rooted for me just as much as I rooted for them. That’s what makes the game fun; when you have a bunch of guys with no egos and everyone’s cheering for each other to do well.
Ultimately, what went into your decision to retire after the career you had and the way you were still playing? LaMarcus Aldridge: It was very tough. I definitely wasn’t ready to hang it up and I still felt like I had more to give to a team and I feel I had a lot to give to the Nets. I feel like they needed what I brought to the table, so it was really tough to walk away. They needed an inside scorer and a rim protector, and that’s what I do, especially at this phase of my career. I’ve dealt with WPW, a heart condition, my whole career. I found out about it in 2006, my first year, so I’ve had some reoccurrences over the years and we’ve done studies. The doctors would do research to make sure nothing has changed. I had a weird game against the Lakers, my heart was just beating weird and out of rhythm.
Is that the hardest part, not being able to be part of this postseason run to compete for a championship? LaMarcus Aldridge: That was the hardest part. Being in a position to get to the Finals and have an opportunity to be on that stage and be a part of history and make my mark. I had never been to the Finals. I’ve been to the West Conference finals, but not the actual NBA Finals. So it was a chance for me to make that next step, a chance for me to add to my legacy and see what it feels like. I’ve always prided myself on embracing moments and trying to grow and learn from every moment. I wanted to get there and see what it’s like, help those guys win and be a part of the journey. And then if we got there, hopefully we would go back two or three more times. So that was definitely the hardest part for me.
The Jump: Status of his health: “I’m doing good. I’m just going through testing everyday just to make sure everything is okay” —@LaMarcus Aldridge #NBAPlayoffs #NBATwitter #TheJump
The Jump: Difficulty of having to retire midseason? “It’s still hard. It’s tough. At some point in your career, you have to pick your health and family first” —@LaMarcus Aldridge #NBAPlayoffs #NBATwitter #TheJump
Robert Horry asked Aldridge what it would mean to him to get his jersey retired by the Trail Blazers, the team he spent nine seasons with before signing with San Antonio in the summer of 2015. “First of all, anyone getting their jersey retired is a huge honor but it would be great for me,” responded Aldridge.
LaMarcus Aldridge: “That’s where it all started for me. That’s where I made my name and I became an All-Star. I actually became that go-to guy there so it would be awesome for me if it does happen because that place is one of my favorite memories for sure.”
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.”
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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July 25, 2021 | 7:20 pm EDT Update
NBA Central: Adrian Wojnarowski expects a ‘big market’ for Kyle Lowry “You’re talking potentially $25 million-$30 million a year for Kyle Lowry, it’s going to be expensive to get at him in free agency or sign-and-trade.”
Taylor Rooks: 🔥 Tyler Herro joins Jack Harlow on stage for Tyler Herro — Rolling Loud pic.twitter.com/yTFRy3npD0
Harrison Wind: Nuggets are holding another pre-draft workout Monday. Projected second round picks and potential two-way or Summer League fliers. – JT Thor (Auburn) – Scottie Lewis (Florida) – Juhann Begarin (France) – Feron Hunt (SMU) – Jalen Tate (Arkansas) – Ibi Watson (Dayton)
July 25, 2021 | 5:22 pm EDT Update
Ryan Ward: Team USA Basketball remains the favorite to win gold in Tokyo after today’s loss to France, according to @SportsBettingAG : USA -300, Australia +800, Spain +900, France +1100, Slovenia +1800, Italy +2500, Argentina +3300, Nigeria +4000