Click here to Skip to main content
LATEST HEADLINES - NBA NEWS

Heart issues force Blazers' Oberto to retire


Posted Nov 4 2010 10:25PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Portland Trail Blazers center Fabricio Oberto abruptly retired Thursday because of a previously diagnosed cardiac condition that caused heart palpitations.

Oberto, in his sixth year in the NBA, was signed as a free agent by the Blazers one day before the start of the season to help the frontcourt while centers Joel Przybilla and Greg Oden heal from knee surgeries.

Oberto experienced dizziness in Portland's game against Milwaukee on Tuesday.

"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."

Oberto, a native of Argentina who played on the team that won the gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics, played in each of the first five games for the Blazers, averaging 1.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 9.0 minutes.

Blazers coach Nate McMillan said he understood the decision.

"It wasn't worth the risk of something serious happening," he said.

Oberto played for four seasons with San Antonio, starting at center for the Spurs' NBA championship team in 2007. He spent last season with the Washington Wizards.

He has averaged 3.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 14.5 minutes over 336 career games, including 128 starts.

He was used off the bench to help Marcus Camby, who has served as Portland's starting center in the absence of Oden and Przybilla, who were both injured last season and required surgery.

Przybilla has already started contact practice and is expected to be back by Thanksgiving. There is no timetable for Oden's return.

McMillan said Przybilla's return would not be pushed up in light of Oberto's retirement.

"We just have to be patient, we really do, and not put him at risk," McMillan said.

The Blazers will look outside for help at center, he said.

The Blazers had planned this season to back up Camby with second-year forward Jeff Pendergraph. But Pendergraph was injured in the preseason and required season-ending surgery. The Blazers waived him.

Portland also announced Thursday that rookie guard Elliot Williams would have surgery to repair a dislocated right patella. He will likely miss the rest of the season.

The team knew Williams would eventually need surgery, but he wanted to play on it while he could, McMillan said. Williams was sore after practice on Wednesday.

Portland selected Williams with the 22nd overall pick of the draft this June. He averaged 17.9 points, four rebounds and 3.8 assists as a sophomore at Memphis last season.

SEARCH NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS
photoTeam World vs. Team Africa
Team World tops Team Africa 101-97 in an inaugural NBA Africa game highlighted by appearances from legends Hakeem Olajuwon and Dikembe Mutombo.
photoRemembering Bob Kauffman
Bob Kauffman, the first All-Star of the Buffalo Braves franchise, passed away peacefully Saturday at age 69. The Braves acquired Kauffman before the team's inaugural 1970-71 season in Buffalo, where he immediately became a star. He was a 3-time All-Star who also played with the Seattle SuperSonics, Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks.
photoAll-Access: 2015 Basketball without Borders Africa
Just days before the historic NBA Africa Game 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa, NBA players and coaches from Team World and Team Africa spent time with young athletes from all over the African continent, teaching basketball and life skills.
photoGameTime: Nancy Lieberman
NBA TV reports that the Sacramento Kings have added Hall of Fame coach Nancy Lieberman to their staff.
photoGameTime: Smitty's Offseason Report
Steve Smith gives his outlook on the various moves and dealings during this offseason.

Copyright © NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of NBA.com may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights and Terms of Use. | Ad Choices Ad Choices

NBA.com is part of Turner Sports Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.