It has become quite the busy news day. And it’s early!
A couple of hours after Shams Charania tweeted that Paul Millsap has agreed to join the Nets, The Athletic reporter added a new scoop: that LaMarcus Aldridge has been cleared to return to play and that the Nets are the leading candidate to re-sign him.
Aldridge abruptly retired in mid-April due to a heart scare – but has received full medical clearance to make his return to the NBA for a 16th season, sources said. https://t.co/XFTuZM3uS5— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 2, 2021
Aldridge, 36, retired on April 15 following a relapse of heart condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) Syndrome, a rare congenital condition that causes a rapid heartbeat and lead to serious heart problems. He left the Lakers game on April 10 and didn’t return.
Aldridge joined the Nets on March 28 after being released by the Spurs. In five games, all starts, with Brooklyn, he averaged 12.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 27 minutes a game.
“I had a weird game against the Lakers, my heart was just beating weird and out of rhythm. I had irregular rhythm the whole game, and I hadn’t experienced that before,” Aldridge explained.
“Normally when I get on the court, my case study is that I would go into regular rhythm as I got my heart rate up. It had never been out of rhythm in a game and then it was out of rhythm for the Lakers game and I was just off and couldn’t get no energy. I just couldn’t get myself going. I couldn’t figure out what was going on.”
He checked himself into a local hospital the next day. Five days later, after missing two games, he had announced his retirement in an emotional statement.
In an interview with Shams in June, Aldridge praised the Nets organization, calling it an ideal situation. .
“It was tough because I felt I was at a location and with a team that embraced me. I embraced them,” he told Shams. “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.”
The seven-time All-Star also praised Sean Marks who he knew well from their time together in San Antonio, saying the Nets put no pressure on him when he told them of his condition. And since he retired, the Nets have added Patty Mills who was Aldridge’s teammate in both San Antonio and before that in Portland...
LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills — together again.— Billy Reinhardt (@BillyReinhardt) September 2, 2021
Third stint. pic.twitter.com/hIpTrysYv6
In the interim, Brooklyn also added David Vanterpool as an assistant. He and LMA worked together in Portland for three years.
Then, earlier this month, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that after medical consultation, Aldridge was seriously considering a return to the NBA this season. He needed clearance from the NBA, which he now reportedly has.
Aldridge has been troubled with WPW for years going to back to his rookie season in Portland, undergoing procedures in 2007 following his initial diagnosis and again prior to the start of the 2011 season. Both procedures occurred while a member of the Trail Blazers. He also reported a rapid heart beat — arrhythmia — in March of 2017 while with the Spurs.
In that June interview with Shams, Aldridge also admitted that he had suffered depression following his decision to retire.
“When you go from doing something you love for so long and you lose it overnight, it’s a shock,” said Aldridge.
Now it appears that he’ll be able to transition a bit better.
- Nets signing former NBA All-Star Paul Millsap with LaMarcus Aldridge possibly next - Peter Botte - New York Post
- As Nets add veteran depth in frontcourt, here’s how they stack up against Lakers - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Paul Millsap gives the Nets frontcourt depth; is LaMarcus Aldridge going to add more? - Alex Schiffer - The Athletic
- The star-studded Lakers and Nets appear ready to rely on big-name veterans - James Jackson - ESPN
- LaMarcus Aldridge cleared to play, with Nets favorites to sign him: report - Ryan Morik - SNY