Leader on the Left Block: Lamarcus Aldridge retires after illustrious NBA career



Lamarcus Aldridge posts up his future teammate Blake Griffin. Aldridge did the majority of his scoring in the post, leading the NBA in points from the left block for the past decade.

Jackson Stanley, Co-Editor in Chief

Leader on the Left Block: Lamarcus Aldridge retires after illustrious NBA career
In the current NBA landscape, news headlines are dominated by dazzling offensive performances by guards or wing players shooting threes, dunking on people and making flashy passes. This is the way the game is headed, past are the days of the fundamental midrange two and the dominant post scorers. Most players who are incapable of stretching the floor, especially big men, have either changed their game to accommodate it, or become obsolete. But a small niche of players have remained true to the classic style of play, and a shining example of this is Lamarcus Aldridge.
After two years at The University of Texas, Aldridge entered the league as the second pick of the 2006 draft to the Chicago Bulls, and then he was immediately traded to the Portland Trailblazers. He spent his first nine years in Portland averaging 19.4 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game during his tenure with the Blazers. In these nine seasons, Aldridge amassed 12,562 points and had reached second all-time on the Blazers scoring list; although now he sits at third after Damian Lillard passed him. He remains Portland’s all-time leader in rebounds with 5,434 total.
In his tenth season, the big man was moved to the San Antonio Spurs, a team that was getting ready to retire their core veterans and future hall of farmers, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker. But Alrdridge was a perfect fit in coach Gregg Popovich’s system, keeping the Spurs competitive and a perennial playoff team. He spent six seasons in San Antonio until this year, when his contract was bought out. He was then signed by the Brooklyn Nets, a “super team” like the league has never seen that includes, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Deandre Jordan and Blake Griffin — all current or former all-NBA playersBut Aldridge would only play five games with Brooklyn, because before suiting up against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 10. Aldridge posted this to his social media:
“Today I write this letter with a heavy heart. I played my last game while dealing with an irregular heartbeat… Though I’m better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still one of the scariest things I’ve experienced. With that being said I’ve made the decision to retire from the NBA. For 15 years I put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and my family first…
You never know when something will come to an end, so make sure you enjoy it every day. I can truly say I did just that,” Alrdidge wrote.
He took time to thank all three NBA teams he played on, Aldridge thanked the cities for welcoming him and accepting his style of play, even if some saw it as outdated.
This emotional retirement announcement caps off Aldridge’s accomplished and well-respected NBA career, some of his greatest accolades include seven All-Star selections, five All-NBA teams made, and the all-rookie team in his first season. But fans and analysts won’t remember Aldridge by that, they will remember him by his classic style of play, his fundamental shot selection and the charity work he did in the communities of Portland, San Antonio and Brooklyn.