Aldridge called his then agent Arn Tellem (who has since joined the Pistons as vice chairman of Palace Sports & Entertainment). Tellem’s solution? Meet with Pop again. So on July 3, Aldridge sat down with Popovich for lunch (later joined by Udoka and Spurs executive Sean Marks) in Beverly Hills. After more reassurances, Aldridge left this meeting feeling better. Later, on the plane back to Dallas, Udoka reinforced the Spurs’ agenda. “I told him, If you want to be coached, if you want to be challenged, Pop is the guy for you.” As the plane descended toward Dallas, Udoka still didn’t know which way Aldridge was leaning. “I had a good feeling,” says Udoka. “But you never know.” As the two disembarked, Aldridge finally turned to Udoka. “I’m coming,” he said.
June 25, 2018 | 9:45 am EDT Update
While James hasn’t decided yet whether to pick up his player option, sources close to the situation tell ESPN that he has no intention of hearing elaborate pitch meetings from teams. James might meet or speak with a club official or owner at some point, but the elaborate presentations that have become common in NBA free agency over the years are unnecessary after 15 seasons in the league.
Should James become a free agent, league sources believe he and his agents Rich Paul and Mark Termini have enough understanding of the stakes and NBA landscape to handle the process without much fanfare.
Ben Axelrod: For the first time in a long time, LeBron changed his Twitter avatar. But what does it mean? #LeBronWatch2018
Today marks “Go Hoops Day,” a global celebration of the sport of basketball. Ahead of the festivities, Houston Rockets’ point guard and Jordan Brand athlete Chris Paul teases the Air Jordan CP3.XI and Air Jordan 10 styled in Martin-themed colorways, with the CP3.XI hitting select retailers soon.