Early Thursday morning, Brooklyn Nets forward LaMarcus Aldridge announced his retirement from the NBA. The cause for the sudden retirement, according to Aldridge, is due to an irregular heartbeat he experienced after a game last week.
The retirement comes as even more of a surprise because he had only played five games as a Brooklyn Net. Earlier this season, his contract was voided in San Antonio, as Aldridge wanted to sign with a title contender to win his first ring. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to help the Nets on that path.
Since his announcement, Aldridge has received outpouring support from fans and people around the league. From Damian Lillard, to the Trail Blazers organization, league stars and more, the loss of Aldridge is a tough hit to the game of basketball.
With Aldridge’s 15-year career behind him, this article will take a look at all of Aldridge’s accomplishments since he came into the league in 2006.
Aldridge was drafted into the NBA in 2006 at the age of 21. He went to the University of Texas where he averaged over 13 points, eight rebounds and nearly two blocks per game in two seasons.
He was taken second overall by the Bulls but traded to Portland in exchange for Tyrus Thomas. Aldridge’s rookie season didn’t amount to much, but he did end up making the all-rookie first team.
The gap between his rookie season and sophomore season was what boosted the beginning of his career. Aldridge started 22 games in his rookie season. Since his sophomore year, he started every game he played in for the rest of his time in Portland.
Aldridge’s nine seasons in Portland were remarkable. He had four all-star appearances and made an all-NBA team three times. In his final season, he had his highest point per game average of his career with 23.4.
Most importantly, Aldridge cemented himself as one of the best Trail Blazers in franchise history.
The Path in San Antonio
The whole point in Aldridge moving to San Antonio was to chase a ring with Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard. Both experienced people that know how to get it done. With the great effort to persuade Aldridge to leave Portland, his time in San Antonio was anticlimactic.
From a team standpoint, the Spurs with Aldridge were a decent playoff team; however, they never got far. Since Aldridge joined the team in 2015, the Spurs made it to the conference finals once, but got swept by the Warriors. They also got bounced in the conference semi-finals, and twice in the first round. They didn’t even make it into the playoffs last season!
As for LaMarcus’s contribution to the Spurs and his impact, he made an all-star team three times and an all-NBA team twice. He was also a consistent scorer, rebounder and presence in the paint.
Is Aldridge a Hall of Famer?
This is a tough question to answer, especially so soon. It’s particularly difficult to answer because of how abruptly Aldridge’s career ended. Also, fans know that he would’ve been a huge contributor to this Nets team that has a good chance of winning a title this year.
When taking everything into consideration, Aldridge will most likely get into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Don’t forget about that. When hall of fame status is talked about, people tend to forget that the NBA doesn’t have a hall of fame.
Taking in all of Aldridge’s accomplishments, he’ll probably get in, just not as a first-ballot member. Seven-time all-star, five-time all-NBA honors and an all-rookie first team. Aldridge is also one of only 25 players in NBA history to tally over 19,000 career points and over 8,000 rebounds. Considering the Nets win the title this year, they’d be obligated to give him a ring since he did play some games with the team.
With all things considered, LaMarcus Aldridge has had an amazing career. One of the best power forwards in his time and a mid-range maestro. He’ll go down as a Portland Trail Blazer great and hopefully as a Hall of Famer.
All stats were taken from ESPN.com and basketballreference.com.
‘From our Haus to yours’