Shortly after joining the Brooklyn Nets this past season, an irregular heartbeat forced veteran forward LaMarcus Aldridge to announce his retirement from the game. While the news was stunning at the time, it appears as though Aldridge hasn't completely closed the book on his basketball career.
Aldridge has consulted with professionals in the medical field and is seriously considering making a return to the NBA for the 2021-22 season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, and is expected to have conversations with teams over the course of the coming weeks. Wojnarowski went on to note that if Aldridge were serious about making a comeback, the big man would need to receive team medical clearance in order to sign a contract with one of the league's 30 franchises.
In mid-April, Aldridge revealed he was dealing with an irregular heartbeat, and at that point in time he was making the tough decision to put his health over his professional career and walk away from the game that he had excelled at. Aldridge last stepped on an NBA court on April 10 in a matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers.
CBS Sports HQ Newsletter
Your Ultimate Guide to Every Day in Sports
We bring sports news that matters to your inbox, to help you stay informed and get a winning edge.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Today, I write this letter with a heavy heart. 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.
Though I'm better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still 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.
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.
Should Aldridge receive the necessary medical clearance to sign a contract with an NBA team, one would have to think there would be plenty of contenders interested in adding his services to their roster. We'll find out soon enough exactly what the future will hold for Aldridge and his career, but the fact that he is even in a position to consider a decision like this is a good sign for his overall health.
Over the course of his professional career, Aldridge scored 19,951 points to go along with 8,478 rebounds, 2,034 assists and 1,140 blocked shots. Thanks to his positive production, Aldridge has been named to seven All-Star teams and five All-NBA teams. He's also just one of 25 players ever to compile over 19,000 points and 8,000 rebounds over the course of their career.