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Former Blazer LaMarcus Aldridge retires at 35 due to irregular heartbeat

"I thank Portland for drafting a skinny, Texas kid and giving him a chance," Aldridge wrote in his retirement announcement.
Credit: Don Ryan
Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge, left, works against Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin on April 1, 2015.

NEW YORK — Former Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge retired from the NBA on Thursday after saying he experienced an irregular heartbeat during his final game with the Brooklyn Nets.

Aldridge, 35, posted a statement on social media saying the heart concern he had during and after Brooklyn's victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday was one of the “scariest things” he's experienced.

Aldridge said he feels better now after getting it checked out but decided to end his 15-year career.

“For 15 years I've put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and my family first,” Aldridge wrote. "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."

LaMarcus Aldridge was a main topic of conversation on this week's episode of KGW's 3-on-3 Blazers podcast. KGW sports anchor Orlando Sanchez and digital producers Jared Cowley and Max Barr spoke about his retirement, their favorite memories of Aldridge in a Blazers uniform and more.

LISTEN: KGW's 3-on-3 Blazers Podcast

Aldridge was acquired by the Blazers in a trade during the 2006 NBA Draft. He played nine seasons in Portland and made four NBA All-Star appearances before leaving to sign with the San Antonio Spurs in 2015.

After practice Thursday, Trail Blazers star guard Damian Lillard said Portland should retire Aldridge's jersey. "LA is one of the greatest players to play in Portland. ... His jersey should be retired here," he said.

Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said Aldridge was one of the five best players in team history.

"He was part of winning teams in Portland and San Antonio," Stotts said. "My second and third year, we overachieved primarily because of him and what he brought to the table."

The seven-time All-Star was bought out of his contract in San Antonio this year and signed with the Nets on March 28. He missed the last two games with what the team had called a non-COVID-19 illness.

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