Family considerations helped bring LaMarcus Aldridge to San Antonio in free agency, writes Jeff McDonald of The Express News. Aldridge, who signed a four-year, $84MM deal in July, was motivated by a desire to spend more time with his sons, 6-year-old Jaylen and 5-year-old LaMarcus Jr. The former Trail Blazer’s mother says the Spurs were among the leaders to land Aldridge even before his meeting with coach Gregg Popovich and GM R.C. Buford. “He kept saying, ‘Mom, I want to be closer to my kids,’” Georgia Aldridge said. “I thought from the beginning it was going to be either Dallas or San Antonio.”
There’s more news from San Antonio:
- Former Spurs player and current assistant coach Ime Udoka helped close the deal for Aldridge, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com. Udoka, who has been friends with Aldridge since they were teammates in 2006/07, helped to quell Aldridge’s fears over playing for a coach whose offense rarely features one primary scorer. “I told him, ‘If you want to be coached, if you want to be challenged, Pop is the guy for you,'” Udoka said.
- Matt Bonner‘s three-point shooting and locker-room personality have helped him become a rare role player who spends a decade with the same organization, McDonald writes in a separate story. Bonner re-signed with the Spurs over the summer for one season at the veteran’s minimum, and even at age 35, he doesn’t see his career ending soon. “It goes back to being realistic,” he said. “Some guys maybe try to chase money or a bigger contract or whatever. I’m really happy being here and playing in San Antonio.”
- Popovich ended a long feud with Jerry Colangelo, head of USA Basketball, before agreeing to become coach of the national team, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Their relationship had been chilly for more than a decade, stemming from Colangelo’s public description of the events that led him to choose Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski over Popovich in 2005.