Sports

Gregg Popovich: LaMarcus Aldridge Asked to be Traded in Offseason

Gregg Popovich: LaMarcus Aldridge Asked to be Traded in Offseason

Gregg Popovich seemingly has seen it all over the course of 21 seasons as the San Antonio Spurs' head coach, but a disgruntled player brought on a completely new experience for him over the summer. Those averages have jumped to 26.8 points and 10 rebounds in five games this month.

"It's as simple as that", Popovich said, per ESPN's Michael C. Wright. 'You get me a talent like Kevin Durant, and I will drive you to the airport. The Spurs may seem rigid in their system, with the evergreen veterans and the grizzled feel of the team, but Popovich was ready to be malleable for a star like Aldridge. Popovich accepted that with Aldridge, and now the big man is having a year that challenges the 2013 and 2014 campaigns that got him this contract. "I want to be traded, '" Popovich said. "But on offense, I was going to move him everywhere". I will pack your bags and I will drive you there, ' and he laughed.

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With the Spurs pretty much the most successful National Basketball Association franchise in the last two decades (18 consecutive 50-win seasons and four championships), and being arguably one of the most well-ran organizations in the league, from the front office to the hardwood, fans saw Aldridge's struggles as him being a player not needed in the Spurs' well-oiled machine. And I said, 'Short of that I am your best buddy, and you are here for another year and you ain't going nowhere because for you talent-wise, we are not going to get what we want, so let's figure this thing out.

Pop would add with another admission: "As discussions went on, it became apparent to me that it really was me". I'm not going to turn him into some other player. According to Wojnarowski, the Spurs discussed potential deals with teams around the league in the summer before deciding to keep the 32-year-old. "I was very candid with him". I could do some things defensively or rebounding-wise. That was just silly on my part - total overcoaching. It makes sense, though - nearly everything that the Spurs touch turns to gold (or, perhaps, silver and black) and the team is far and away the winningest in the league since Popovich took over in 1996. "So, we took care of it, and he's been fantastic". The Spurs seemingly did the opposite in the offseason by signing Aldridge to a three-year, $72 million extension.


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