He just joined the team following a buyout, only to suddenly retire due to an irregular heartbeat.
This was an abrupt end to an elite career and obviously not the way he wanted to go out.
Yet things change and news dropped Thursday signaling an NBA return for the veteran.
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
He has reportedly been cleared to return and is expected to be back with the Nets.
Given this clearance, the hope is he can return at his usual level of play and chase his first championship ring at the age of 36.
Continuing A Dominant Career
Aldridge is a seven-time All-Star and has made five All-NBA teams.
The former No. 2 overall pick left the San Antonio Spurs last season and landed on the Nets, ready to chase a title.
His abrupt retirement only added to the list of problems faced by the Nets last season.
But he can now return as a legitimate post threat alongside the team’s Big 3 and can occupy a spot vacated by DeAndre Jordan, who is expected to be bought out.
A post game featuring Aldridge and Blake Griffin in 2021-22 may not sound as threatening as maybe it would have 10 years ago, but the trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving remains the focus.
Aldridge and Griffin just need to provide a bit of extra support.
Trying To Go Out On Top
Plenty of veterans around the NBA start chasing rings late in their careers.
Nets rotation: (in no particular order)
LaMarcus Aldridge (pending)
— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) September 2, 2021
Aldridge is no different than the slew of veterans who all signed up to play with the Los Angeles Lakers this season.
The key takeaway here is that he can now go out on his own terms, given his health status remains the same.
He just turned 36 years old and is obviously nearing retirement as it is, regardless of the health scare he had.
The Nets are title favorites once again and if they do win it all, Aldridge could retire on top, which is something so rare to do in professional sports.