NBA

LaMarcus Aldridge: Spurs coach Popovich hails "consummate professional"

LaMarcus Aldridge's former San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has praised the veteran star's professionalism in the wake of his retirement due to a heart issue.

LaMarcus Aldridge: Spurs coach Popovich hails "consummate professional"

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has paid tribute to LaMarcus Aldridge, who has announced his retirement from the NBA due to a health issue, describing the 35-year-old as a "consummate professional".

Aldridge retires from basketball over heart problem

Aldridge played while dealing with an irregular heartbeat in the Brooklyn Nets' 126-101 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers last Saturday, a problem that became worse after the game.

The seven-time All-Star was listed as out with a non-covid related illness for the Nets' next two games against the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Philadelphia 76ers.

On Thursday, he said he was putting his health and family first and calling it a day.

Aldridge had only joined the Nets as a free agent in March and averaged 12.8 points in five games after agreeing a contract buyout with the Spurs.

He was signed by the Spurs ahead of the 2015-16 season, helping San Antonio reach the Western Conference Finals in 2017 where they were swept by the Golden State Warriors.

Popovic "proud" of Aldridge for making "difficult decision"

"LaMarcus Aldridge enjoyed a wonderful NBA career. He was a consummate professional with a unique skill set and a deep respect for the game," Popovich said in a Spurs statement. "We're grateful for his contributions, both on and off the court, during his time here in San Antonio.

"I'm proud of him for making this difficult decision and we wish him and his family all of the best in the future."

Selected second overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2006 draft, Aldridge spent the majority of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers, scoring 12,562 points to sit third on the franchise's all-time list.

Aldridge played in 1,029 NBA games and finishes up averaging 19.4 points and 8.2 rebounds.