Pregame notes: LaMarcus Aldridge responds to David Lee
On Friday night before his Portland Trail Blazers took to the court against the Warriors, power forward LaMarcus Aldridge responded to comments made by Golden State’s David Lee
In a <a href="http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/eye-on-basketball/20573865/david-lee-is-done-waiting-to-win" rel=”nofollow”>CBSsports.com interview published earlier this week, Lee noted how important it is for the Warriors to win and that last year’s record led to Aldridge getting the 2012 All-Star selection over him – although their stats were comparable. Both Aldridge and Lee play the same position.
Before the All-Star break, Lee averaged 19.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Aldridge had numbers of 22.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg and 2.7 apg. Aldridge also had 24 blocks compared to Lee’s 12. But Lee’s FG% was slightly better at 51.6 % to Aldridge’s 50.6 %.
Lee told Matt More of CBSsports.com:
“I think all the individual stuff will come. If you look at my numbers around All-Star [time] last year and all the stuff we were doing. LaMarcus Aldridge makes the All-Star team, and I don’t. I think if Portland and Golden State’s records are reversed, it’s probably the opposite way [I and I make the All-Star team]. And he’s a great player; I’m not talking bad about him at all. But I think all the All-Star appearances, all the respect you want to get, that comes with being on a winning team.”
I got Aldridge while he was changing before shootaround and initially brought up the subject by asking: “Are you easily offended?” Aldridge immediately knew what I was getting to.
Aldrige: “Sometimes. You’re talking about that David West stuff? I mean, David Lee quote?”
Note: the slip of the tongue seemed genuine and not a clever way to dismiss Lee. Besides, Aldridge saved his best slights for later.
“Nah, that don’t bother me. Whatever he has to do to motivate himself. I’m not offended by that. One of the key quotes he said is that I have more wins. That’s a big part of the NBA I thought, was making your team, ya know, win games.”
“I can’t take offense to it because I think he might have been trying to throw a punch but he just made me look better because he said my team had more wins than his so that means that I must be leading my team in the right direction. So, I don’t have anything bad (to say) about that. I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me.”
Although Aldridge expressed twice that he wasn’t bothered by Lee’s comments, his tone and choice of words revealed that he didn’t exactly care for them – no matter how many times he said he wasn’t offended.
Me: How do you motivate yourself? Because I know a lot of players will take something negative and say, ‘I want to prove that person wrong.'”
Aldridge: “I take little small challenges to myself or I just take something small and I try to blow it up in my head and I’ll make it something (so) that it motivates me but that definitely didn’t motivate me (chuckles). I feel like I’ve been here long enough to not worry about guys saying stuff like that. When they told me the quote, I kinda laughed. I was like, ‘So. My team had more wins? That’s the only reason why – that’s a major reason why. Ya know? That’s a major reason why most guys are on the All-Star game, they try to pick two guys off the best teams in the NBA, ya know. So, that’s what it should be. So, I don’t care about that.”