Spurs coach Gregg Popovich admits it was a mistake trying to change LaMarcus Aldridge, relays Melissa Rohlin of The San Antonio Express News. After five straight seasons of topping 20 points per game in Portland, Aldridge dropped to 18.0 and 17.3 in his first two years in San Antonio.
Popovich talked to Aldridge several times during the offseason and realized that he should have let the power forward play his game. “I thought back to Timmy [Duncan], and people said, ‘Oh, what are you going to do with Tim Duncan,’” the coach said. “And I said, ‘Nothing, I’m just going to watch him for six months and see what he does. He’s a pretty good player. And if there’s something that I think I can add, then I’ll do it.’ With LaMarcus, he got here and on day one I said, ‘Okay, we’re going to do this. And [Jack] Sikma did this. And you’re going to do this pump fake.’ I tried to change him. I tried to make him a different player.’”
Aldridge expressed unhappiness in San Antonio over the summer and there were rumors that he might be traded, but instead the organization rewarded him Monday with a three-year extension
There’s more news from the Western Conference:
- With Chris Paul sitting out tonight’s game with a sore left knee, Demetrius Jackson is getting a chance to show his skills at the NBA level, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. After being waived by the Celtics in July, Jackson agreed to a two-way deal with the Rockets. He is limited to 45 days in the NBA, but the clock doesn’t start until G League training camps open. That allows the Rockets to give him some minutes with the reserves tonight in Sacramento. “I’ll try Demetrius just to see,” said coach Mike D’Antoni. “He plays good defense and he gets after people and he pushes the ball hard. He’s got a good demeanor about him. I like the way he plays. He’s got a good solid game. I think he can give us 10 good minutes. That’s all we need. He looked good in training camp. He kept coming at you.”
- Warriors forward Draymond Green had an MRI on his left knee today and sat out practice, but the team doesn’t think it’s a long-term problem, according to Mark Medina of The San Jose Mercury News. Green was injured late in the third quarter of Tuesday’s loss to Houston and didn’t return for the fourth quarter. The Warriors expect to receive the MRI results Thursday.
- The Lakers are hoping their offseason moves will result in more wins, which will make the team more attractive to free agents, writes Bill Oram of The Orange County Register. “All I want us to do,” said president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, “is have a good season where free agents look and say, ‘Oh man, I can see myself in that lineup and with that team.’ And we can step up to another level.”