wpid-i_1d_21_81_lamarcus_aldridge.jpg
During the presser, Olshey fired back in fierce denial, saying: I spoke with LaMarcus… I actually asked him, “how would you like me to address this?” And he said, “Just say it’s not true. You and I know where we are right now.” It was misreported. It’s not true. I can tell you he has not informed anybody in this organization of his intention not to return to the team. How much of this was true? According to our source, some…depending on perspective. Both sides knew at that point that Aldridge was gone. Olshey was painted into a corner, having to defend something that he couldn’t tell the whole story about. The source also shed some light on official procedure. Usually if you’re a pro about it, you place a phone call to the team you’re leaving first then you call the other team and accept. Olshey hadn’t received that official phone call.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 96 more rumors
Integrating any new major piece takes time, toil and patience. Just ask the Cleveland Cavaliers, who struggled to adapt to the arrivals of All-Stars LeBron James and Kevin Love early last season. Aldridge’s game, built on post-ups and mid-range jumpers, can at times lend itself to ball stoppage, a no-no in Popovich’s world. “He’s used to being the man, and he’s going to kind of get out of that mode,” one Eastern Conference coach said.
What emerges might be an amalgam of the “beautiful game” offense the Spurs rode to the 2014 NBA title and the Tim Duncan-centric offense that led to championships before that, this time with Aldridge at the core. “He’ll fit into their offense really well,” one Eastern Conference scout said. “He’ll be very good in what they do. It will be so easy for them it’s not even funny.”
wpid-i_1d_21_81_lamarcus_aldridge.jpg
This just in: They never had a shot at LaMarcus Aldridge, which insiders knew for months. Even if he talked to them, and six other teams, his likeliest destination all along was San Antonio. Coming of a 21-61 season, they had little more chance at getting DeAndre Jordan or Kevin Love to play alongside old Kobe Bryant, young Jordan Clarkson and unproven D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 96 more rumors
wpid-i_21_0d_9a_182451176.jpg
Flush with about $25 million in cap space, the Trail Blazers are in the market for wings and backup point guards, and The Oregonian/Oregonlive.com has learned at least one player Portland is looking at is veteran wing Rasual Butler. According to a source, Butler has been offered a contract, but is in no hurry to sign, as he mulls other interest from teams, which includes San Antonio and Golden State.
wpid-i_d6_09_58_manu_ginobili.jpg
After signing LaMarcus Aldridge, the San Antonio Spurs are even more determined to try to convince Manu Ginobili to play one more season, sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. Building roster ‎depth is a prime concern for the Spurs after committing all of their available salary-cap space to Aldridge and the returning Danny Green, with limited flexibility to pursue Indiana Pacers free agent David West and re-sign the likes of Tim Duncan and Ginobili.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 3 more rumors
Ginobili has long planned to reveal his decision about continuing his career in the newspaper La Nacion in his native Argentina. Sources say the Spurs remain quietly optimistic that Ginobili will ultimately opt for one more season. The 37-year-old Ginobili has pondered retirement since San Antonio’s season ended with a heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 of the Western Conference first round.
wpid-i_5c_2e_4d_damian_lillard.jpg
Lillard had wanted to coordinate the timing of a meeting before leaving town, but Aldridge, understandably, was slow to respond. He had a second meeting with the Lakers to focus on that night, then a meeting with the Miami Heat and team president Pat Riley. There were extensive text messages shared between Aldridge and Lillard in what constituted a modern-day conversation, and the message was made quite clear by the time Friday night rolled around: whether the Spurs or the Phoenix Suns, Lillard was convinced Aldridge was gone. None of which is to say Aldridge made a bad choice; in fact, going to the Spurs is a tremendous choice. This combination of top-tier talent both young (Leonard, Aldridge, Danny Green) and old (Duncan, Tony Parker and perhaps Manu Ginobili) is as tantalizing as any we’ve seen, and the Golden State Warriors surely know their title defense just got a whole lot harder.
wpid-i_1d_21_81_lamarcus_aldridge.jpg
A few minutes ago, I received the following from Aldridge: Dear Rip City, Thank you! Those two words on a page don’t begin to express the gratitude I have for the opportunity the entire Trail Blazers organization, my teammates, the media, and you fans gave me. The past nine years have been a blessing, and I will take all of the valuable memories with me as I head back home.
wpid-i_af_15_b2_182731390.jpg
For years, the rumblings that Aldridge wasn’t happy with his place in the Portland spotlight were always there. First it was Brandon Roy stealing his thunder, then Greg Oden before his ill-fated fall, and then this young and dynamic talent named Damian Lillard whose star rose far too quickly for Aldridge’s liking. All along the way, the complaints that would rarely, if ever, come directly from Aldridge himself were consistent: one way or another, intentional or not, he felt underappreciated – if not disrespected. He wanted top billing.
But the challenging part for the Blazers folks who tried so hard through the years to understand him is that Aldridge’s understated ways made it nearly impossible to satisfy this request. He routinely turned down interviews, or didn’t maximize off-court opportunities of which Lillard would take full advantage. He is known as the private type, the kind of player and person who prefers to play his game and let someone else handle the lion’s share of the leadership duties. Except, of course, until someone does just that, reaps the benefits of it and kickstarts the cycle of jealousy that had everything to do with his departure.
Lillard, upon return from a promotional trip in Paris, was hoping to pull off some fourth-quarter heroics on Thursday night. He started planning a trip via charter plane to Los Angeles, a sit-down to meet with Aldridge and try to work it all out. But the trip never happened because, well, it was already too late. Lillard had wanted to coordinate the timing of a meeting before leaving town, but Aldridge, understandably, was slow to respond. He had a second meeting with the Lakers to focus on that night, then a meeting with the Miami Heat and team president Pat Riley. There were extensive text messages shared between Aldridge and Lillard in what constituted a modern-day conversation, and the message was made quite clear by the time Friday night rolled around: whether the Spurs or the Phoenix Suns, Lillard was convinced Aldridge was gone.
Trail Blazers assistant coach Kim Hughes has been fired by the team, The Oregonian/Oregonlive has learned, days after his comments to an Indiana television station about the future of free agent LaMarcus Aldridge went viral. NBA.com was the first with knowledge of the move and The Oregonian confirmed it. “We can confirm Mr. Hughes is no longer with the team,” Neil Olshey, Blazers president of basketball operations, said on Saturday. “It is our policy to otherwise refrain from commenting on personnel matters.” Hughes, who has been the Blazers’ big man coach for the past three seasons, told WTHI television that Aldridge was leaving the Blazers in free agency, which enraged team officials, who said Hughes had no knowledge of the team’s free agent proceedings. The Terre Haute, Ind., station was interviewing Hughes while he was at a camp held by Blazers forward Meyers Leonard in Leonard’s hometown of Robinson, Ill. “Well, people don’t realize we just went young,” Hughes said in the interview. “We didn’t publicize it, but we lost LaMarcus Aldridge. It hasn’t been declared yet, but I’m sure he won’t come back. We will go young.”