LaMarcus Aldridge announced his retirement from the NBA after 16 seasons.
The big man was drafted by the Bulls with the second overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft but soon was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers for a 2007 pick, Tyrus Thomas, and Viktor Khryapa. Chicago later packaged that draft pick to acquire Eddy Curry from the New York Knicks.
Aldridge played in Portland for nine seasons, where he made the All-Star team four times and was named to the All-NBA team three times.
He signed with the San Antonio Spurs six seasons, where he made three more All-Star teams and two more All-NBA teams. His contract was bought out in the 2020-21 season, and Aldridge finished out his final two seasons in the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets.
Aldridge wore No. 12 for the majority of his career — Bruce Bowen, whose No. 12 is retired by the Spurs, gave his blessing when he arrived in San Antonio. So he took inspiration from Tom Brady in his retirement message.
“In the words of TB12, you only get one big, emotional retirement … so, on that note … I’m thankful for all the memories, family and friends I made throughout my career,” Aldridge tweeted Friday. “It was one hell of a ride and I enjoyed every min! 12.”
There was no video or a beach backdrop for Aldridge, but the 37-year-old wanted, like Brady, wanted to make his message as direct as possible.
Aldridge ends his NBA career with career averages of 19.1 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game and 1.1 blocks per game. He was a prolific scorer in his career, which makes his Hall of Fame case an interesting one.
Basketball Reference gives Aldridge a 50.9% chance to have his name called at Springfield, Mass.