In the coming days, the Spurs will officially sign and introduce LaMarcus Aldridge, which means he will need to pick a jersey number. The number he wore for nine years in Portland, 12, has been retired for Bruce Bowen. However, Bowen has given Aldridge permission to wear the number, as sort of a welcoming gift.
“You want LaMarcus to feel part of the family,” Bowen told the Express-News. “If I can have a hand in that, shoot, why not? I don’t play anymore.”
Not long after Aldridge agreed to a four-year deal worth more than $80 million to join the Spurs last week, general manager R.C. Buford phoned Bowen to ask about bequeathing the number to the team’s new prize.
The 44-year-old Bowen, who last played in 2009, agreed immediately.
“I hope it helps (Aldridge) feel comfortable,” Bowen said. “If he’s comfortable, the sky’s the limit for him here. It’s one less thing he has to worry about.”
It’s a cool gesture by Bowen, who was a starter on three of the Spurs’ five title teams and would have had every right to want his number to stay in the rafters.