A year ago, LaMarcus Aldridge said he wanted to be remembered as the “best Blazer ever” and other things in a love letter to Portland, which turned out to be a PR statement crafted by the team. Aldridge put his name on it, but his heart was not behind it.
This July 4, Aldridge announced his intention to sign with the San Antonio Spurs.
This time Aldridge penned his own letter to the fans in Portland, via the Oregonian.
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.
As I’m sure you can respect, my decision was a very personal one but not one I took lightly. Although I will be wearing a different uniform the next time I come back to Portland, please know that I will always hold my time in a Blazers uniform near and dear to my heart.
Your friend, LA
I’m not sure a lot of Blazers fans will see him as “your friend” right now. Especially after that letter a year ago.
Aldridge can certainly make a case for his move — he’s going home to Texas and walking right onto a contender. But that doesn’t mean it hurts less for any Blazers fans who have felt like their team was close and just could not catch a break — not with Brandon Roy’s knees, not with Greg Oden’s knees, not with Wesley Matthews Achilles.
How will Blazers fans react when Aldridge returns? Boos? Applause and a thank you? Some mix of the two?