LaMarcus Aldridge is coming off one of his worst seasons statistically and told Gregg Popovich he wanted a fresh start with a new team, the Spurs coach revealed Thursday.
replica nba jerseys china
The 32-year-old big man averaged playoff career-lows in points (16.5), rebounds (7.4) and blocks (1.0) last season, but has turned it around thanks to offseason meetings with Popovich that convinced him to want to stay in San Antonio.
“We had some dinners and meetings and laughed,” Popovich said, via ESPN.com . “I was very candid with him. I told [Aldridge], ‘I’d be happy to trade you. You get me a talent like Kevin Durant, and I’ll drive you to the airport. I’ll pack your bags. And I will drive you there, get you on the plane, and get you seated.’
“He laughed you know, that kind of thing. I said, ‘But short of that, I’m your best buddy because you’re here for another year, and you ain’t going nowhere. Because we’re not gonna get for you talent-wise what we would want. So, let’s figure this thing out.’ And we did. That’s what we came to.”
Popovich said Aldridge bluntly told him before nike nba jersey china the season he wasn’t enjoying playing, lacked confidence and didn’t know if Popovich wanted him.
“It’s my 20-whatever year, and nobody’s ever said that,” Popovich said Thursday.
“As discussions went on, it became apparent to me that it really was me,” Popovich added. “He’d been playing in the league for nine years. I’m not going to turn him into some other player. I could do some things defensively or rebounding-wise. But on offense, I was going to move him everywhere. That was just silly on my part. Total overcoaching. So, we took care of it, and he’s been fantastic.”
Aldridge has averaged 25.3 points over his last eight games and after Monday’s 12 rebounds, he’s recorded four double-doubles in his last five games entering Thursday’s matchup with the Lakers.
wholesale nba basketball jerseys
Despite missing Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs (28-14) remain a top-three team in the Western Conference.
Miami Heat shooting guard Dion Waiters is reportedly expected to undergo season-ending surgery on his bothersome left ankle, according to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania.
Waiters, who hasn’t played since Dec. 22, said last month he was aiming to delay surgery until the offseason after forgoing the option to have a procedure over the summer.
“Until I take care of it and do what I was supposed to do with it, even if I have a little sprain, it’s going to be severe,” Waiters said at the time, according to the Associated Press, via ESPN.com. “I didn’t even do anything when I twisted it. I just twisted it.”
Over 30 appearances this season, Waiters averaged 14.3 points and 3.8 assists while shooting 39.8 percent from the field and 30.6 percent from three after signing a four-year, $52 million contract in July.
Should Waiters proceed with the operation, as expected, it will mark the second straight season he’s appeared in fewer than 50 games.
The Heat should continue to lean on Wayne Ellington—who’s been one of this season’s most pleasant surprises—to play big minutes on the wing. To date, Ellington is averaging 10.7 points and knocking down 41 percent of his threes.