Portland Trail Blazers center Fabricio OBERTO made a sudden announcement that his is retiring from professional basketball on Thursday because of a previously diagnosed cardiac condition that caused heart palpitations. He experienced dizziness in Portland’s game against Milwaukee on Tuesday.
OBERTO, in his 6th year in the NBA, was signed as a free agent by the Blazers one day before the start of the season. He played for the San Antonio Spurs for 4 years and was their starting center in the 2007 Championship winning team. Last season he played for the Washington Wizards. Prior to his NBA career, he also played professionally in Argentina, Greece and Spain.
“I made this decision to put my health and my family in front of basketball,” OBERTO said in a statement. “It was a tough decision to make after playing for so many years, but it was the right one.”
Blazers coach Nate McMILLAN said he understood the decision.
“It wasn’t worth the risk of something serious happening,” he said.
He has averaged 3.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 14.5 minutes over 336 career games, including 128 starts.
As part of the Golden Generation, he was a key figure in the National Team that reach the final of the World Championship in 2002 and won the gold at the Athens Games in 2004 and bronze in Beijing four years later.
Throughout the time I’ve followed his career in the NBA, he always known to be an unselfish and team player. He often put himself on the line for the sake of the team and won many admirer at the same time. From his recent interview, I felt that he could still play at the top level for at least another couple of more years.
In the end, like what you’ve said OBERTO, family and health always comes ahead of career. I respect you for that. Thank you for everything you have done for Argentina. My sincere hope is for you to live a happy and healthy life in your retirement years.
The President of CABB, Dr. Germain VACARRO also made a statement in the official association’s website.
"I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, the decision was made at the best interest for him and his family. On the other hand, it is sad not to see him playing for the National Team again. He is best center in the history of Argentine basketball. He will have a place very close to our heart. I can only say, Thanks Fabri.