Lakers had second meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge, apologized for first
LaMarcus Aldridge reportedly left his first free agency meeting with the Los Angeles feeling underwhelmed, but he apparently respects the franchise enough that he was willing to give it another shot.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reports that Aldridge granted the Lakers’ request for a second meeting on Thursday night, and the team spent the entire 90 minutes talking about basketball this time around.
The Lakers are said to have pitched mostly branding opportunities to Aldridge in the first meeting, which did not sit well with the 29-year-old. According to Shelburne, the team apologized for that in the second meeting and brought in an assistant coach who deals in the analytical part of the game.
After getting feedback on Aldridge’s reaction to their presentation, the Lakers requested and were granted a second meeting Thursday night. One source said they made a point of apologizing to the 29-year-old Aldridge for not giving a more well-rounded presentation and thanking him for giving them a second chance. In addition to general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Byron Scott, they brought assistant coach Mark Madsen to the presentation. Madsen is the liaison between the coaching staff and the franchise’s analytics staff.
Aldridge signing with the Lakers still seems like a long shot, as he also was reportedly rubbed the wrong way by some stuff that Kobe Bryant said during the first meeting. And then there were the embarrassing tweets featuring celebrities, which Aldridge probably didn’t appreciate if basketball is what’s most important to him.
While it still seems unlikely that the Lakers can land Aldridge, they are obviously in better shape than the New York Knicks. The top free agent prize cancelled his meeting with the Knicks earlier this week.
With Tim Duncan officially announcing on Thursday that he will play another NBA season, there’s no reason to think the San Antonio Spurs have been bumped out of their position as frontrunners for Aldridge.