San Antonio Spurs Rumors
Should the San Antonio Spurs return to the NBA’s mountaintop this season, maximizing the talents of new big man LaMarcus Aldridge and perhaps winning a sixth title since 1999, they may need to come up with an in-house award to honor the man who made it all possible. It’s not Gregg Popovich, or Tim Duncan, or any of the usual suspects from their storied group. It’s Ime Udoka, a 38-year-old Spurs assistant and former Spurs player who was the unsung hero in their pursuit of the former Portland Trail Blazers big man.
A: “He was huge. As you said, I played with him, and when he played with us, him and I were really close. And even when he left to go to the Spurs, when we played against them we still hung out and he would get me into the practice facility so I could get in the cold tub. He has always been really cool with me, and I thought he played a vital part in this. If I had questions, I would call him.
Q: You had two very different situations in Phoenix and San Antonio. Was there any part of you that was worried about Tim’s shadow? Going with the Suns obviously would have been different, with you as the main attraction. LaMarcus Aldridge: : “No, because I’m not trying to be Tim Duncan. I’m not trying to fill his shoes. No one is going to fill his shoes. First of all, he started there and he ended there. I’m not doing that. I didn’t start there. There’s no pressure, because I didn’t start there and I’m not trying to be him. My game is totally different than his.
LaMarcus Aldridge: I never had any issues with it. I think the media blew it up more, like I’m trying to fill his spot and take his role. I was like, ‘No, I’m trying to be me.’ I feel like me being there with Pop in the system with the guys, I should be ok. That was what I was weighing: Go to Phoenix, be the face and the guy, or go to San Antonio and probably win sooner and be more blended in. That was my issue. And I was like, ‘If y’all want me to come here and average 12 or 13 points, that’s not who I am. I like scoring.’ They were like, ‘No, we want you to play in the system, but you scoring is needed here.’ Once I heard that, I was fine.”