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#pounditWednesday, January 26, 2022

Articles tagged: LaMarcus Aldridge

Gregg Popovich admits LaMarcus Aldridge heart condition is ‘a little scary’

LaMarcus Aldridge is out indefinitely with what is being called a “minor heart arrhythmia,” and that’s a little unsettling to his coach.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich admitted Saturday that the news was a little bit worrisome, though he made clear the team didn’t really know what was going on with their star center yet.

“Sure. You just think more seriously,” Popovich said, via Fran Blinebury of NBA.com. “Tony [Parker], it’s his back. Dejounte [Murray], it’s his pelvic bone. And then somebody says ‘heart,’ and you start thinking a little more possible long-term stuff.

“That’s a little scary. But you don’t go there yet. They are doing some tests. They did some tests today and they are going to continue it on Monday. He is going to see some people on Monday, and based on what they do and see, we’ll know better what we are really looking at. But we don’t know right now.”

Aldridge’s absence is considered indefinite. The main concern is simply for his health and well-being, and he’ll hopefully get back on the basketball court in due time.

LaMarcus Aldridge out indefinitely due to heart arrhythmia

The Spurs will be without one of their most important players for the foreseeable future as LaMarcus Aldridge tends to a health issue.

On Saturday morning, the Spurs announced Aldridge would be out for an indefinite period of time due to a minor heart arrhythmia. Here’s the statement they released on the matter.

During his rookie season, Aldridge was diagnosed with the heart condition Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which causes an accelerated heartbeat. He missed a few games that season and had a procedure prior to his sixth season in the league to again address the problem. Here’s hoping this current heart condition is one Aldridge can return to full health sooner rather than later from.

LaMarcus Aldridge denies that he is unhappy in San Antonio

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If LaMarcus Aldridge is dissatisfied with his situation in San Antonio, he isn’t saying so publicly.

Aldridge told the Jim Rome Show on Thursday that he has no complaints about his situation with the Spurs.

“I talk to [Gregg Popovich] daily and he’s always telling me that I’m doing great,” Aldridge said on Thursday’s Jim Rome Show, via ESPN. “Trying to be a more of a leader. He’s put me in positions where I can be more of a leader. As long as the guys here aren’t saying bad things to me. All my teammates have said nothing but great things to me.”

Aldridge insisted that he’s very happy being with the Spurs.

“Yeah, for sure I am,” Aldridge said. “We made history last year [by going 40-1 at home, matching an NBA record]. They’ve incorporated me into the family. Try to make me one of the big pieces.

“I’m winning. Of course I’m happy. That’s why I don’t buy into the rumors. I feel like I do my job here and I feel like I’ve done everything that they’ve asked. That’s why I haven’t bought into the rumors.”

Aldridge has reportedly been displeased to be in one teammate’s shadow. These stories came out of the blue, and for now, he’s content to downplay them publicly.

Report: LaMarcus Aldridge may be unhappy Kawhi Leonard is star of the show

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LaMarcus Aldridge knew he was joining a team-first organization when he agreed to sign with the San Antonio Spurs, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have visions of being the face of the franchise.

ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan reported earlier in the week that the Spurs may end up trading LaMarcus Aldridge before the end of the season. The report was surprising given that Aldridge was productive and helped the Spurs win 67 games last year, but there may be plenty of truth to it.

Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News spoke with a league source who claims the Spurs are open to dealing Aldridge. The reason for that could be that Aldridge is unhappy Kawhi Leonard has emerged as the new focal point of the team’s offense.

Those close to the situation suggest Aldridge may not be happy at the moment. The belief is the Spurs pitched him on becoming the center of their offense when they recruited him in 2015, and that hasn’t occurred with the rise of Kawhi Leonard. However, a team source said there are currently no problems with Aldridge, adding he is apart of the Spurs’ future.

If you recall, Aldridge went through a similar situation with the Trail Blazers. Though there was no serious turmoil between the two, Aldridge wasn’t exactly thrilled with the accession and eventual takeover by Damian Lillard as the face of the franchise.

Aldridge’s contract in San Antonio runs through the 2017-2018 season, with a player option worth $22 million for the 2018-2019 season. Young speculates that the Phoenix Suns, who are now coached by Aldridge’s former teammate Earl Watson, could emerge as a potential suitor. The Boston Celtics also have a plethora of draft picks, and Danny Ainge is always looking to make a big splash.

Leonard is an MVP candidate, and most players would be thrilled to play with someone like that. However, it’s possible Aldridge envisioned himself being the new star of the show when Tim Duncan retired. If you want to know how important the Aldridge signing was for the Spurs, read this. That said, we know how quickly things can change in the NBA.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

LaMarcus Aldridge reportedly may not finish year with Spurs

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Just over a year after landing the top prize of the 2015 free agent class, could the San Antonio Spurs already be considering throwing in the towel on him?

In an appearance on CSNNE.com’s Early Edition on Tuesday, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan said that there’s a chance LaMarcus Aldridge may not finish out the 2016-17 season with the Spurs:

For instance, sources were telling me the other day that LaMarcus Aldridge may not even finish the year with the Spurs. That experiment hasn’t quite worked out the way they hoped.

Such a revelation is something of a head-scratcher after San Antonio won 67 games last season with Aldridge averaging 18.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game on a career-high 51.3 percent shooting from the field. It’s also especially so considering how important the Aldridge signing seemed to be to them and how Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich supposedly promised Aldridge that he would coach out the entirety of his contract.

That contract of Aldridge’s runs through 2019 and has nearly $65 million left on it as well as a 15 percent trade kicker, which could make it difficult to move the 31-year-old big man. Aldridge does have some overlap offensively with Kawhi Leonard, and he sometimes hampers the team’s overall flow in halfcourt sets by holding onto the ball for too long with his isolationist tendencies. But given all the contextual evidence, it’s hard to see the five-time All-Star actually being dealt by the Spurs.

LaMarcus Aldridge on dislocated finger: ‘It freaked me out’

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San Antonio Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge suffered a pretty nasty injury on Thursday night, and it sounds like it gave him quite the scare.

In the first quarter of a loss to the Golden State Warriors, Aldridge attempted a reverse layup but was rejected by Andrew Bogut. His right hand appeared to smack off the backboard, leaving his pinkie finger dislocated:

Aldridge’s pinkie was left facing in the wrong direction. For those of you with strong stomachs, here’s a photo of the damage:

Aldridge returned to the game after having the finger popped back in by a team trainer, but it came back out as soon as he touched the ball. He said the injury “freaked” him out and his shot never felt right afterword.

“It freaked me out,” he said, via ESPN.com. “I never had it happen to me before. I looked down, and it was going the other direction. So it definitely caught me off guard, and kind of threw me off tonight. It didn’t really feel right the whole night. Every time I shot, it just didn’t feel natural out there. So I was just trying to play through it.”

As you can see, Aldridge wasn’t quite as casual about his dislocated finger as this NFL player was about his.

Spurs fans can only hope the finger feels right by the time the playoffs start. Aldridge will obviously be able to play through it, but it could affect him mentally.

LaMarcus Aldridge explains why he deleted Twitter account

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LaMarcus Aldridge decided to delete his Twitter account at some point after his San Antonio Spurs were blown out by the Golden State Warriors on Monday night. Coincidence, right?

According to Aldridge, the decision to bail on social media had nothing to do with having one of his worst games of the season in a 30-point loss.

“I just wanted to lock in on my season right now, it had nothing to do with that game,” he told reporters after a win over the Rockets on Wednesday, per Melissa Rohlin of the San Antonio Express-News.

That’s somewhat hard to believe. Aldridge scored just five points on 2-for-9 shooting and grabbed three rebounds in the game against Golden State. I’m sure he wanted to focus on improving, but I’d be surprised if criticism after the blowout didn’t help push him in that direction.

Aldridge bounced back in a big way with 25 points and 10 rebounds against the Rockets. He shot 9-of-13 from the field.

“I wanted to be better than I was the last game,” he said. “I wanted to have a better rhythm and try to put my stamp on the game. I was trying to be more in tune to the game, for sure.

“It’s not anything about the game. It’s a new adventure for me. I’ve never been in this system, with this team. I’ve never been on a top 2 team in the West.”

If Aldridge did quit Twitter for a similar reason to the one this famous announcer gave when he decided to give it up, the big man made the right choice.

Photo: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Parker: Spurs’ core may have retired if LaMarcus Aldridge didn’t sign

Manu Ginobili Tim Duncan Tony Parker

Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge has looked like the best free agent signing in the NBA from this past offseason, and it hasn’t been particularly close. Aldridge’s interior defensive presence and weakside rebounding next to Tim Duncan as well his ability to act as a release valve for the San Antonio offense, stretching a defense out to 20+ feet and bullying opposing power forwards in the post have been indispensable to the team’s 22-5 start to the season. But now it appears as though Aldridge’s positive effect on the Spurs this year goes far, far beyond his individual impact on the court.

In advance of San Antonio’s matchup with the Clippers on Friday, their first since falling in the first round of the 2015 Playoffs to Lob City last May, guard Tony Parker spoke with the San Antonio-Express News, revealing that some key members of the Spurs core may have retired had the team failed to lure Aldridge in free agency.

The 33-year-old shed some light on just how up-in-the-air the Spurs’ future seemed after that first round exit. “I wasn’t sure this team would be the same,” said Parker per Emmett Knowlton of Yahoo! Finance. “I thought it was all going to be blown up and changed.

“Everybody knew maybe we could get LaMarcus. There was hope, but at the same time it could’ve gone all wrong. Because if you don’t get him, what do we do?” Parker continued. “It was like playing poker — all in, you know? Meaning, if we get LaMarcus, everybody’s back. If we don’t, I guess everyone will retire.”

Parker’s Big Three counterparts Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, in particular, were the ones who were both rumored to be contemplating retirement after the 2014-15 NBA season. But the 2015 offseason proved a fateful one for the Spurs, who managed to convince Danny Green to re-sign on a team-friendly deal and traded away Tiago Splitter’s contract to the Atlanta Hawks, thus enabling San Antonio to land their man in Aldridge and convince the gang to come back for one final hurrah. Now with the addition of Aldridge, the subsequent signing of veteran big man David West on a minimum deal, and the full-scale emergence of Kawhi Leonard as a go-to crunchtime/isolation scorer, new life has been breathed into the Spurs’ aging core as they look poised for yet another run at the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

For the 30-year-old Aldridge, whose significance to the team now clearly transcends his relatively modest averages of 15.7 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game, maybe he can start referring to himself now as “The Fish That Saved San Antonio.”

H/T NBA Reddit

Pat Riley inadvertently helped the Spurs sign LaMarcus Aldridge

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In making his pitch to free agent forward LaMarcus Aldridge, Heat president Pat Riley may have inadvertently driven Aldridge to the San Antonio Spurs.

Yahoo Sports’s Adrian Wojnarowski profiled Aldridge’s free agency, including looks inside all of his meetings with potential suitors. It turns out his meeting with Miami helped him make up his mind to go to San Antonio.

Wojnarowski writes that Aldridge was already very interested in the Spurs, and was impressed with the family atmosphere they gave off during their meeting. However, when Riley requested a meeting, he wanted to hear what he had to say. Riley wanted Aldridge to re-sign with Portland for a season and then join a new-look Miami team in 2016. His pitch, as it turns out, impacted Aldridge greatly.

“He told me, ‘You’re a good player, but you can be great,'” Aldridge told Yahoo. “I’ve had good seasons on my own, but to win, you’ve got to have other big-time guys with you. When you have other guys who are willing to take that sacrifice with you – maybe you all go from averaging 23-24 points to 18-19 points – and you can all do it together.

“He was saying, ‘Hey, you might have to take a lesser role, but at the end of the day, you want to be known as a champion. Champions have to do different things.’ He brought up Chris Bosh, how he was averaging 21 in Toronto, and came to Miami, and people tried to say he wasn’t important. He told me, ‘We don’t win any of those championships rings without him,’ [and] that [Bosh] wouldn’t trade those rings for anything.

“Eventually, it becomes a road in your career, whether you have to decide whether you want to keep having these crazy stats, or do you want to win a championship?”

On the night of July 2, with Popovich returning for a lunch meeting the next day, Riley had delivered an unintended assist to the Spurs. He had turned Aldridge’s mind back toward San Antonio, setting the stage for Popovich to close the deal. “Yeah, the things [Riley] said were definitely more positive for me coming to San Antonio,” Aldridge told Yahoo.

Riley essentially gave the Spurs’ sales pitch for them. They have great players who put egos aside to become even greater than the sum of their parts. They gave Aldridge a chance to win a lot now. Perhaps if San Antonio takes home an NBA title in 2016, they should send Riley a thank you note.

Gregg Popovich makes LaMarcus Aldridge sit out practice

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He has yet to even play in a single preseason game for his new team and already offseason San Antonio signee LaMarcus Aldridge is getting his first heavy dose of Spurs-related culture shock.

The four-time All-Star missed Spurs’ practice on Tuesday with a strained IT band (which sounds like something you would find in a server room, but I digress). If it was up to Aldridge, he would have participated. But he was overruled by head coach Gregg Popovich who, per Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News, responded to Aldridge’s reluctance to sit with an all-timer, saying “Welcome to the Spurs.”

Popovich is, of course, the Jedi master of managing player minutes and workloads, so Aldridge must have known to expect a surprise absence or three every now and then when he signed on with the Spurs. Perhaps necessitated by the age of the roster, San Antonio’s arbitrary maintenance system of random player rest has become one of the key pillars of Spurs culture, especially when the team is making an appearance on national television (that sound you just heard was probably David Stern popping a blood vessel). The Spurs won the 2014 NBA Championship despite not having a single player eclipse the 30 minutes per game plateau that year. Even last season, Kawhi Leonard was the only player on San Antonio’s roster to log over 30 minutes per game (31.8), and even that is a conservative number for a springy 23-year-old forward.

At 30 years of age himself, some sporadic rest might not even be a matter of principle for the former Blazer, but rather just for his own good. Aldridge, who saw 35.5 minutes per game in his nine-year career with Portland, including 37.2 in the last five seasons, can likely anticipate a moderately reduced workload for the Spurs next season, both in terms of playing time and touches. But with the hopefully corresponding bumps in efficiency and freshness, he will be exactly potent offensive threat/anti-small ball weapon that San Antonio needs in order to prolong their shelf life even further.

As for Popovich, who has already been getting a head start on subjecting terrified reporters to Gregg’s Flying Circus of Media Torture, it definitely looks like he’s in midseason form.

H/T Yahoo! Sports