When superstar point guard Damian Lillard entered the league in 2012, LaMarcus Aldridge was dead in the prime of his professional career. Through three years as teammates on the Portland Trailblazers, the two became one of the premier duos in the NBA.
On Thursday afternoon, Aldridge, who recently signed with the Brooklyn Nets, abruptly announced his retirement after a recent health scare. During the Nets’ game against the Los Angeles on Saturday, the seven-time All-Star power forward says he experienced an irregular heartbeat — one the “scariest things” he’s felt in his life.
In response to his former teammate’s retirement, Lillard issued a plea to his Trailblazers franchise. During an appearance on “Jalen and Jacoby” Thursday, the 30-year-old PG said Aldridge’s number belongs in the rafters of the Moda Center ASAP.
“It’s time for the Blazers to retire No. 12,” Lillard said. “He had an amazing career in a Trailblazers uniform. You know, I think everyone was expecting him to return… but there’s no denying the kind of career he had in Portland and what he did and meant to this city. So I think that’s the proper respect to retire that jersey.”
Blazers star @Dame_Lillard joined @JalenRose and @djacoby as the LaMarcus Aldridge retirement news broke, and immediately asked Portland to RETIRE #12 👀 pic.twitter.com/jtkPSCzdR3
— Jalen & Jacoby (@JalenandJacoby) April 15, 2021
With nine seasons in Portland, Aldridge clearly means a lot to that city and the organization’s history. And according to his retirement statement this afternoon, it meant just as much to him.
That mutual love starting from the second he was drafted by the franchise in 2006.
“I thank Portland for drafting a skinny Texas kid and giving him a chance,” Aldridge wrote. “The city of Portland has given me some unforgettable years.”
Through his time with the Blazers, Aldridge averaged 19.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game — leading the team to five playoff appearances in his nine years.
After a five-and-a-half-year stint with the San Antonio Spurs from 2015-21, the star power forward landed in Brooklyn where he averaged 12.8 ppg through five contests before his career-ending health scare.
Retired jersey or not, we wish Aldridge a healthy post-NBA life.
The post Damian Lillard Has Message For Blazers About LaMarcus Aldridge appeared first on The Spun.
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