LaMarcus Aldridge shares the one regret from his NBA career
It has been more than a month now since LaMarcus Aldridge shockingly announced his retirement from the NBA due to a heart condition, and the transition has not been easy for the NBA All-Star. Fortunately, he has just one regret from his playing career.
In a wide-ranging interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic, Aldridge opened up how he has battled depression since his health forced him to retire. He explained more about his heart condition, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which he was diagnosed with in 2006. Aldridge said his irregular heartbeat always seemed to work itself out during games as his heart rate increased, but that did not happen when the Brooklyn Nets played the Los Angeles Lakers on April 10. That frightening experience was enough to convince Aldridge to give up playing.
Aldridge was then asked how he looks back on his nine seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. He said he regrets not having a better relationship with Damian Lillard.
“The only thing I look back on is I wish I would have worked at it better to have a relationship with Dame,” Aldridge said. “I feel like we both had our circles talking to us. Maybe that helped stifle our relationship, but we definitely have gotten a better relationship since then. But I think just trying to get a better relationship with him.”
Aldridge admitted that he struggled with not being viewed as “the guy” early on in Portland even though he was a No. 2 overall pick. He said trying to elevate to that status hurt his relationship with Lillard.
“I just feel like I wish Dame and I would’ve talked more and tried to develop a better relationship,” Aldridge added. “Part of it was he was young, trying to find his way, and I had worked so hard to get to this spot I was at. I wish I would have worked harder … the only regret I have is I wish I would have worked harder to have a relationship with Dame.”
As Aldridge mentioned, his relationship with Lillard appears to be fine now. Lillard paid Aldridge a huge compliment after Aldridge announced his retirement in April. There weren’t many reports about them not getting along during their time as teammates, but they clearly were not best friends.
Had Aldridge and Lillard formed a stronger bond, it’s possible Aldridge would have re-signed with the Blazers instead of leaving for San Antonio. Perhaps he feels that would have been the right move in hindsight.