Is LaMarcus Aldridge a real No. 1 guy for an NBA team?
How you answer that question determines what you think the Blazers need to be doing as they restructure the roster. If you think he is a Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard you can build a contender around, then the Blazers should be fitting pieces around him. If you think he is a No. 2 guy — a Pau Gasol, Chris Bosh type that is very good but needs to be the second option on a contender — then the Blazers need to be in the market for one of those guys.
There is no question where Aldridge thinks he falls on that list. From Chris Haynes at CSNNW.com.
“I think every team in this league feels that I’m a number one and that’s why they double-team me and they scheme me the way they do it,” Aldridge told CSNNW.com. “If I wasn’t a number one, teams wouldn’t double-team me and teams wouldn’t try to take me out.
“So I don’t think there’s no need to bring in a number one. This organization can do whatever they want to do, but I think it’s definitely good to keep putting really solid pieces around myself, Dame [Lillard], Meyers [Leonard], and J.J. [Hickson]. But I don’t think it’s no need to bring in a number one, but if they do, I’ll play my role.”
Seven seasons into Aldridge’s career, he’s an All-Star who can bring you an efficient 21 and 8 every night. I think a lot of people around the nation, who don’t see the Blazers regularly, don’t realize just how good a player he is.
But he needs a No. 1 up there in Portland to go with him. Sorry. They have some interesting young pieces up in Portland with rookie Damian Lillard and the potential of J.J. Hickson, but even as they develop this team strikes me as the Pau Gasol Grizzlies. A team a piece away.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.