LaMarcus Aldridge spoke about his sudden retirement from the NBA and how he's been coping with the decision since he last played on April 10th. Aldridge announced his retirement on April 15th due to an irregular heartbeat. Aldridge played his entire career with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.
“I’ve been depressed, and I’m trying to figure out how to navigate through not competing on the floor, learning not to be depressed,” Aldridge told The Athletic. “I still love basketball. I still feel like I have a lot to give. But even now, I’m still trying to find myself. When you go from doing something you love for so long and you lose it overnight, it’s a shock. Even though I knew it was the right decision, those next couple days there was a lot of back and forth with my family, my agent, with the Nets, and they definitely supported me either way. They were upfront and I thought they were great with (saying): ‘This is on you; we don’t know how you felt and how you feel, so we’re going to follow your lead.’ I thought that was awesome of them. I never felt any pressure to come back or make a decision based on the season. It was always: We fully understand what you’re going through, and so if this is what you want to do, you have our support.
“It was tough because I felt I was at a location and with a team that embraced me. I embraced them. We all had a common goal and we had chips on our shoulder to prove something. It was bitter for me. I had finally found the cohesiveness that I had wanted for a while in a group. And then all of a sudden I can’t play anymore. I felt if I stayed with the group, we definitely could get to the Finals and do something special. Those guys rooted for me just as much as I rooted for them. That’s what makes the game fun; when you have a bunch of guys with no egos and everyone’s cheering for each other to do well."
Aldridge will consider a coaching role after the season.