LaMarcus Aldridge ‘depressed’ about missing Nets’ playoff run

As the Nets attempt to shut out their first-round collection in opposition to the Celtics Tuesday – sitting because the prohibitive betting favorite to win it all – it’s simple to overlook that they might’ve been even higher. It’s simple to overlook they’d truly plugged their Achilles heel with a possible Hall of Famer – till he was compelled into retirement.

LaMarcus Aldridge and the Nets have been excellent for one another; a contender searching for a conventional heart to vie with 7-footers, and a seven-time All-Star looking for to cement his legacy together with his first title. That is, earlier than a heart condition led his abrupt retirement in April.

It’s most likely no coincidence that because the Nets take a 3-1 first-round collection lead into Game 5 vs. Boston, Aldridge has opened up about how depressed he’s been within the wake of his retirement, with the worst half being missing out on a possibility for his first championship.

No, make {that a} golden alternative.

“I’ve been depressed, and I’m trying to figure out how to navigate through not competing on the floor, learning not to be depressed,” Aldridge told The Athletic. “I still love basketball. I still feel like I have a lot to give. But even now, I’m still trying to find myself. When you go from doing something you love for so long and you lose it overnight, it’s a shock.”

Despite the truth that Aldridge had been coping with cardiac points all through most of his 15-year NBA profession, it was a shock for him to undergo from an irregular heartbeat in an April 10 recreation vs. the Lakers.

LaMarcus Aldridge plays in one of his five games with the Nets before retiring.
LaMarcus Aldridge performs in considered one of his 5 video games with the Nets earlier than retiring.
Getty Images

Days later, Aldridge introduced his retirement after a stellar profession, averaging 19.4 factors and eight.2 rebounds over 1,029 video games. But what galled him most was that simply 5 of them got here with the Nets.

After by no means having reached an NBA Finals in his years in Portland and San Antonio – purchased out by the latter this season – Aldridge is satisfied he might’ve earned a hoop in Brooklyn.

“That was the hardest part,” Aldridge mentioned. “It was a chance for me to make that next step, a chance for me to add to my legacy and see what it feels like.”

Aldridge spoke of eager to “add to my legacy.” After signing in Brooklyn to play alongside Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, he might’ve been the proper rebounder and inside defender to enhance the Big 3.

Aldridge plays against the Hornets.
Aldridge performs in opposition to the Hornets.
Getty Images

“I felt if I stayed with the group, we definitely could get to the Finals and do something special,” Aldridge mentioned. “Those guys rooted for me just as much as I rooted for them. That’s what makes the game fun; when you have a bunch of guys with no egos and everyone’s cheering for each other to do well.”

Aldridge mentioned as a lot not too long ago on ESPN, reaffirming that he was an ideal match for the Nets, they usually for him.

“It’s still hard. It’s tough,” Aldridge mentioned. “I think at some point in your career, you pick your health and your family first. I think that it was my time. It was definitely tough, because I feel like that team needed what I brought to the table. They were excited to have me there on that team, and I was having fun. So it was extra tough.”

Brooklyn comes into Tuesday’s Game 5 at Barclays Center useless final within the playoffs in defensive rebound share (64.9%). Their 72.6-percent mark through the common season was simply twenty third, and worst amongst all of the groups that reached the playoffs.

They’d face far greater exams than Boston’s Tristan Thompson ought to they advance, from second-round foe Milwaukee with Giannis Antetokounmpo to probably 76ers star Joel Embiid.

“For us one of the big things is that rebounding is a team effort for us. We don’t have that one guy that’s dominating the glass per se, but you can do it by committee and everybody’s got to be able to come back,” Joe Harris mentioned. “It’s a team effort, especially with somebody like Tristan. You’ve got to put multiple bodies on him just to limit him on the offensive glass, and it’ll be the same thing going forward for us.”

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