Aldridge comes out of retirement to rejoin Nets

  • Host of The Woj Pod
  • Joined ESPN in 2017

After retiring with heart concerns five months ago, seven-time All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge is returning to the Brooklyn Nets on a one-year, $2.6 million deal, his agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, told ESPN on Friday.

Aldridge, 36, has been medically cleared by a number of doctors — including those both independent and Nets-affiliated — to make a return for his 16th season, Schwartz told ESPN.

“I retired in April based on what I believed was the wisest precautionary decision for my personal health at the time, but further testing and evaluation by several top physicians has convinced the doctors, myself and the Nets that I’m fully cleared and able to return to the rigors of the NBA,” Aldridge told ESPN in a statement. “I loved my brief time with Brooklyn and am excited to rejoin the team in pursuit of a championship.”

The Nets have a deep rotation of former All-Star frontcourt players, including Aldridge, Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap.

ESPN reported Aug. 4 that Aldridge was considering a comeback, and his conversations on a return centered largely on the Nets. Aldridge played five games with Brooklyn last season after agreeing to a contract buyout with the San Antonio Spurs.

Aldridge experienced an irregular heartbeat during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers in April, and that soon led to a decision to announce his retirement.

“For 15 years I’ve put basketball first,” Aldridge wrote on Twitter at the time. “And now, it is time to put my health and family first.”

Aldridge signed with the Nets on March 28 after agreeing to a buyout with the Spurs, with whom he had spent the previous 5½ seasons. He played the first nine years of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers.

He has averaged 19.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in his career.

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