It appears as though LaMarcus Aldridge’s playing days aren’t over, after all. Aldridge retired from the NBA in April due to an irregular heartbeat, but he has received full medical clearance to make a return to the NBA, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Aldridge was playing for the Brooklyn Nets when he stepped away, and they are reportedly the leaders to sign the veteran forward for next season. His addition would help to bolster the frontcourt for a team that is widely viewed as the favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference. In addition to the Nets, Aldridge also has the Chicago Bulls on his radar, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports.
Aldridge, 36, only appeared in five games for the Nets before being forced to walk away. He spent the previous five and a half seasons in San Antonio with the Spurs, and the first nine seasons of his career as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers. He holds career averages of 19.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and two assists per game. At the time of his retirement in April, Aldridge released the following statement:
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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.
Walking away from the game was clearly a difficult decision for Aldridge, so he’s likely ecstatic about getting another opportunity to play the game he loves. Plus, if he does ultimately sign with the Nets, Aldridge will have an excellent opportunity to win his first NBA title.