Last summer, LaMarcus Aldridge expressed his desire to become the greatest player in Trail Blazers history.
By January, his name began swirling in free agency rumors.
As soon as the season ended, those rumblings kicked into overdrive, culminating with Aldridge signing with the Spurs.
It was well within his rights and perhaps unavoidable. But Aldridge toyed with Portland fans and then ditched them.
How does he think they’ll receive him?
Aldridge on The Russillo Show, as transcribed by Michael C. Wright of ESPN:
“I think going back [to Portland] my first time might be boos because I think people are really hurt by my decision. They don’t understand why I left. So I think my first game back, I probably will be booed.”
Aldridge joined a contending team in his home state, one that has no state income tax. If there are other reasons he left, he hasn’t revealed them.
Not that it would matter.
Aldridge is a villain in Portland. I can’t imagine a way he could’ve bolted for San Antonio without that becoming his fate.
He can talk about the good times, and he can speak glowingly about he developed with the Trail Blazers. But in Portland, he’s the enemy now.
He’s definitely getting booed. No amount of understanding could change that.