Brooklyn’s LaMarcus Aldridge announced his retirement Thursday after experiencing an irregular heartbeat. Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

NEW YORK — LaMarcus Aldridge retired from the NBA on Thursday after saying he experienced an irregular heartbeat during his final game with the Brooklyn Nets.

Aldridge, 35, posted a statement on social media saying the heart concerns he had during and after Brooklyn’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday were one of the “scariest things” he’s experienced.

Aldridge, who was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome – an abnormality that can cause a rapid heartbeat – as a rookie in 2007, said he feels better now after getting it checked out but nevertheless decided to end his 15-year career.

“For 15 years I’ve put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and my family first,” Aldridge wrote.

The seven-time All-Star signed with the Nets on March 28 and he had become their starting center. He missed the last two games with what the team had called a non-COVID-19 illness.

Nets General Manager Sean Marks said the team fully supported Aldridge’s decision.

“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,” Marks said.

Aldridge joined the Nets after reaching a buyout agreement with the San Antonio Spurs and provided his new team with an inside post presence that was one of the few things it was missing. The 6-foot-11 Aldridge had the best of his five games with the Nets in the one before his heart trouble, scoring 22 points in a victory over New Orleans on April 7.

The No. 2 pick in the 2006 draft was long one of the best at his position, averaging 19.4 points in a career that began with nine seasons in Portland.

Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey praised Aldridge as one of the best players in the franchise’s history.

“During his nine seasons in Portland, LaMarcus battled through multiple injuries and health concerns but never once allowed them to affect his commitment to his teammates and coaches on the court or the people that benefited from his outreach in the community off the court,” Olshey said in a statement.

Aldridge went on to play 5 1/2 seasons with the Spurs and was a five-time All-NBA selection. He thanked all three teams in his post, saying Portland gave him some “unforgettable years” after drafting a “skinny, Texas kid.”

He praised the Nets for allowing him to play his type of game, when so many NBA teams are looking more to the perimeter instead of the post now.

“You wanted me for me,” Aldridge said. “In a game that’s changing so much you asked me to come and just do what I do which was good to hear.”

KINGS: Forward Marvin Bagley III is expected to rejoin the team Thursday in Phoenix after being away for four weeks while recovering from a broken hand.

Coach Luke Walton said Bagley will meet up with the team when the Kings (22-33) visit the Phoenix Suns (39-15). Walton said Bagley will travel with Kings for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks and accompany the team back to Sacramento as he nears a return to action.

Bagley, 22, has been away from the team since fracturing the fourth metacarpal in his left hand in a 122-116 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on March 15. Bagley, who came out of Duke as the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, is averaging 13.9 points and 7.4 rebounds. He has appeared in only 112 games over three seasons with the Kings because of a variety of injuries, but he showed signs of improvement while remaining relatively healthy over the first half of the season.

THURSDAY’S GAMES

BUCKS 120, HAWKS 109: Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 15 points in his return to the Milwaukee lineup and got plenty of help from his teammates as the visiting Bucks cooled off surging Atlanta.

Antetokounmpo had missed six games because of an ailing left knee. He played 25 minutes, hitting 7 of 12 shots to go along with five rebounds, three steals, two assists and a block. He didn’t have to carry too much of a load, as the Bucks put seven players in double figures, led by Jrue Holiday with 23 points.

WARRIORS 119, CAVALIERS 101: Stephen Curry scored 33 points – topping 30 for a career-best ninth consecutive game – and Golden State won at Cleveland.


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