Inside local MMA - Coming soon
SEATTLE – Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge participated in Jamal Crawford's Pro-AM championship game at Seattle Pacific University Saturday afternoon.
After Aldridge helped his former Trail Blazer teammate in Crawford win his first Pro-AM title since heading this event several years ago, the All-Star sat down with CSNNW.com to discuss a few topics centered around his eventful summer.
So without further ado, enjoy.
What have you been up to this summer?
“I've just been working out, trying to improve my game. I'm feeling good and healthy. I'm just preparing myself for the upcoming season.”
Has this summer been different from other summers?
“Ah, a little.”
Okay. Let's get into it. There was a report that you believed Portland was “too small” and “too boring” of a city. What's your response to that?
“Nah, that's not true. I'm a quiet person that keeps to himself, really. Portland doesn't bother me. I don't have an issue with the city of Portland. I've been there my whole career. I like the smallness of it and the passionate fans. That's not true at all.”
How have you been dealing with all the trade rumors?
“I just block it out and go to the gym. That's it. I can't do anything about that. I feel like if there was really something serious going on, [Trail Blazers general manager] Neil [Olshey] would have told me but that didn't happen. I'm a Trail Blazer.”
Did you ever demand a trade?
You told Yahoo! Sports that you have to at least give Neil Olshey a chance to get his personnel on board. What did you mean by that and what was your mindset going into this offseason?
“I was just frustrated with how we ended the season. I've been on a team where we were one of the top four teams in the Western Conference. I know what that feels like and to go through what we went through last season was disappointing. At this stage of my career, it's all about winning for me. I don't care where it's at, I just want to win. But I never asked to be traded. And Neil told me when he came in that we had some holes on the roster and to give him an opportunity to make things right here. I just had to keep that in mind. But it was just a tough season for me last year.”
Has your representation attempted to get you moved?
“Agents talk. I don't know what goes on there. I just worry about playing basketball.”
CSNNW.com reported that if moves weren't made to your liking, you would prefer to be moved. Was that accurate?
“Yeah, but I don't have to worry about that because we've added some good pieces this summer and I'm looking forward to working with them.”
What moves did you like in particular?
“I think they all were solid. Neil kept me in the loop the entire process, asking me what I thought of certain players. He asked me about [Robin] Lopez and I said he's good and would be a quality pickup. That's another thing about this: if Portland was trying to move me, I don't think they would have been keeping me involved throughout the [free agency] process.”
What do you do from here on out?
“I'll just keep working. I'll probably get back to Portland on the 15th (of September) for good and get together with the guys.”
What's the goal for next season?
“Playoffs. I think if we can put the pieces together, we're definitely a playoff team. It'll be tough, but I think we got the guys that can get the job done.”
“I think eighth or seventh.”
I have to ask. When you're a free agent in 2015, what are the chances you re-sign with Portland?
“I'm not the kind of person that thinks that far ahead because I feel like you won't be doing all you can at the current time to help your team. I'm focused on next season and how we can come together to be a playoff team. That's the only thing on my mind.”
Anything you want to tell the Blazer fans?
"That we're going to try to bring you guys a winning team. They're the best fans in the world. I know they'll be behind us."