Changing companies is stressful. Moving cities is stressful.
In that sense, it’s understandable that LaMarcus Aldridge found the free agent process he went through this summer taxing. He had big decisions to make about his career and lifestyle he wanted to lead. I wouldn’t know, but I imagine being wined and dined all over the country so you could sign an $80 million contract would ease some of that stress. But maybe not.
“I don’t like change,” Aldridge said. “That’s been a little bit difficult for me, trying to get used to a new city. I got lost like twice yesterday. That’s not fun.
“In the end, it should be great for me. Right now, it’s been tough because everything is so new.”
Aldridge, who turned 30 on July 19, has spent most of the summer decompressing from a stressful free agency chase that left him – in his own words – “mentally drained.”
On the court, I think Aldridge will adjust very quickly and fit in — it may take a little while, but he and Tim Duncan will play well off each other. In an offense that allows players a lot of freedom, guys like Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, and Danny Green will make things easier. Aldridge said he expect to get better looks, and he will, plus he will help create those for others. He will like the Spurs cerebral game (which is not terribly structured compared to the micro-control some coaches demand).
When we talk about player changing teams, that’s usually all we think about — how will it work on the court? That and the money. We tend to ignore the fact these are human beings with families and changing teams means a host of challenging life changes as well. Aldridge may have willingly took those on this summer by agreeing to play for Gregg Popovich and the Spurs, but that doesn’t make the transition easier.
It only makes sense for Aldridge to be drained and struggling to adjust. I just have a feeling that by Halloween he’ll be past all that and focused on the game.