Sunsetting Careers: LaMarcus Aldridge Basketball Cards – When a lengthy career comes to close by the player’s decision, it is a moment of celebration. When it halts not by choice, but instead due to medical complications, there is more of a mourning feeling. This is the case with LaMarcus Aldridge.

On Thursday, April 15, 2021, hardcourt fans awoke to a disappointing message from the five-time All NBA honoree:

Aldridge came into the NBA after being picked second overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2006 NBA Draft; but the Portland Trail Blazers quickly traded for the University of Texas alumnus. Aldridge reported to his team and put together an incredible frosh season, averaging 22 minutes across 63 games and counting 9 PPG. The latter number steadily improved throughout his career and ultimately went over 20 seven times.

Aldridge was a major boost to the Trail Blazers who went to the post-season dance five times during his tenure there. In his final season – 2014-15 Aldridge had his career high in PPG – 23.4 – and second-best rebounds-per-game average of 10.2. The Blazers only won one postseason series with Aldridge before the standout power forward / center took his act to San Antonio. So excited were the Spurs to acquire Aldridge that they unretired Bruce Bowen’s number 12 jersey for the Dallas native.

With the Spurs, Aldridge continued his incredible play. Across six seasons, Aldridge counted two 20-plus PPG seasons; but following the 2018-19 season, his play started to deteriorate. In 2019-20, Aldridge appeared in 53 games. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Aldridge underwent major surgery that cut his season short. Aldridge started the 2020-21 season with the Spurs but again encountered injury woes and ultimately his contract was bought out by the club on March 25.

Aldridge finished his career with the Brooklyn Nets, but only appeared in five games before calling it a career.

Aldridge’s career achievements, along with the aforementioned five All-NBA honors, include putting together 18,000 points and 8,000 rebounds, becoming the first player to reach both milestones since 2006. He played in seven NBA all-star games and was named to 2007’s NBA All-Rookie Team, following up on several collegiate honors.

Collectors have a treasure trove of cards to collect of LaMarcus Aldridge, with more than 4,600 pieces indexed thus far.

Congratulations, LaMarcus Aldridge, on an incredible career!

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Jon Waldman
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