LaMarcus Aldridge’s playing days aren’t over, after all. Aldridge abruptly 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. Aldridge was playing for the Nets when he stepped away, and he will continue his career in Brooklyn, as he has signed a one-year, $2.6 million deal with the Nets, according to his agent Jeff Schwartz, via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. His addition will help to bolster the frontcourt for a team that is widely viewed as the favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference.
Aldridge, 36, only appeared in five games for the Nets before being forced to walk away in April. 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. After agreeing to return to the Nets, Aldridge released the following statement.
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“I retired in April based on what I believed was the wisest precautionary decision for my personal health at the time, but further testing and evaluation by several top physicians has convinced the doctors, myself and the Nets that I’m fully cleared and able to return to the rigors of the NBA,” Aldridge told ESPN in a statement. “I loved my brief time with Brooklyn and am excited to rejoin the team in pursuit of a championship.”
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, now that he’s back with the Nets, Aldridge will have an excellent opportunity to win his first NBA title.