San Antonio Spurs: LaMarcus Aldridge is a bona fide All-Star
By Dylan Carter
For the seventh time in his career and the third time with the San Antonio Spurs, franchise power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has been selected as a reserve in the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.
Only a short while ago, Gregg Popovich and his misunderstood pupil LaMarcus Aldridge discussed his role with the team following the first trade request the coach had ever received. Since then, Aldridge has embraced the culture and style of this glorious franchise by buckling down as a defensive anchor and ingraining his elegant style of play with the ball movement and team-first mentality of San Antonio.
The marriage between Aldridge and the Spurs has paid of greatly as Aldridge has received his second consecutive invitation to the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte, North Carolina. This is the 33-year-old’s seventh selection to the team and third in the past four seasons.
Nationally, LaMarcus Aldridge may not be a house hold name, but his consistency, effort and graceful aging process have put the NBA world on notice. His 21.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game have been crucial in sustaining the historic playoff run that San Antonio has ridden since 1997.
LaMarcus Aldridge definitely deserved the All-Star nod. #Spurs pic.twitter.com/ynKRtJq1yA
— Spurs Nation (@SA_Spurs_Nation) February 1, 2019
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Coaches throughout the league have recognized the insurmountable leadership qualities that Aldridge has instilled on this Spurs team. While the addition of DeMar DeRozan has accelerated the offensive renaissance that the team underwent this offseason, the truth of the matter is that LaMarcus Aldridge is still the core of this team. Similarly to Tim Duncan in his heyday, the team is centered on both sides of the floor by the presence of San Antonio’s dominant big man.
Aldridge isn’t concerned with the semantics surrounding the All-Star Game, but instead is humbled and appreciative of his opportunity. He doesn’t do a whole lot of talking but makes his voice heard when he needs to, embodying the idealistic star for San Antonio. As he’s grown more appreciative of the city, the earnest Spurs fanbase has grown to love Aldridge quite easily.
Watching Aldridge showcase his talents against the league’s elite will be fun for the power forward himself and fans at home, but it’s undeniably evident that his focus is not on Charlotte for the time being. He came to the Alamo City to expand on a winning culture and seek out the franchise’s elusive sixth championship. Through thick and thin, Aldridge has held down the locker room and preached the values of hard work and camaraderie.
With this bona fide All-Star at the helm, the Spurs may find a way to complete their Race for Seis.