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Image via Getty/Jim McIsaac

After 15 years, LaMarcus Aldridge is stepping away from the game of basketball.

On Thursday, in a move no one saw coming, the Brooklyn Nets big man announced his retirement from the NBA. In a letter announcing his departure, Aldridge explained that he was motivated to end his career due to a heart issue.

“My last game, I played while dealing with an irregular heartbeat,” Aldrige wrote. “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 made the difficult decision to retire from the NBA.”

Aldridge was selected second overall in the 2006 NBA draft by the Portland Trailblazers after spending two years at the University of Texas. He was a perennial all-star during his nine seasons in Portland before signing with the Spurs in 2015. Injuries plagued his time in San Antonio, and Aldridge evebntually joined Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.

“For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first, and now it is time to put my health and family first,” he added.

The Nets released the following statement:

Aldridge averaged 19.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.1 blocks for his career. He was a seven-time NBA All-Star, a two-time All-NBA Second Team selection, and a three-time All-NBA Third Team selection.

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