San Antonio Spurs' LaMarcus Aldridge (L), who announced his retirement Thursday, tries to wrest control of the ball from the Los Angeles Clippers' Kawhi Leonard during second-half action January 5 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
April 15 (UPI) -- Brooklyn Nets center LaMarcus Aldridge announced his retirement Thursday, saying it's time to put his health and family first after he experienced an irregular heartbeat during a recent game.
In a Twitter post, the 15-year NBA veteran said he played his last game Saturday -- against the Los Angeles Lakers -- with the irregular rhythm, which became worse after the game. He told the team the next morning and was examined at a hospital.
"Though I'm better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still one of the scariest things I've experienced," Aldridge wrote in the post.
"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."
The Texas native has two sons, Jaylen Aldridge and LeMarcus Aldridge Jr.
He declined to specify what caused the irregular heartbeat, though he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart ailment that causes erratic heartbeat, in 2007.
Aldridge signed with the Nets in late March after spending six seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. The Portland Trail Blazers drafted him in 2006, and he played there through the 2014-15 season.
Nets general manager Sean Marks said the team "fully supports" Aldridge's decision to retire.
"We know this was not an easy decision for him, but after careful consideration and consultation with numerous medical experts, he made the best decision for him, his family and for his life after basketball," he said.
"We wish LaMarcus, Kia and their family much health and happiness going forward."
The Trail Blazers praised Aldridge's work ethic, dedication and talent during his time with the team.
"He will go down as one of the best players in the history of the franchise and while it is sad to see his career cut short, he will always be a member of the Trail Blazer family, and we wish him the best in all future endeavors," a team statement said.