LaMarcus Aldridge said Friday that he hates the San Antonio Spurs organization, doesn't trust Gregg Popovich and wants to be traded immediately. Just kidding -- he didn't do anything like that because it would be totally insane.
Talking to reporters in San Antonio, Aldridge dismissed reports that he's less than thrilled to be a Spur and the organization could trade him before the end of the season, via the San Antonio Express-News' Tom Orsborn.
"I come to work every day and my team is happy with me and coach Pop is happy with me, so I can't buy into those rumors," Aldridge said, basically repeating comments he made Thursday during a national radio appearance on The Jim Rome Show.
Aldridge said he hasn't heard from anyone in the organization about the trade rumors, which the Spurs have denied.
"(Popovich) is a pretty direct person and this organization is first class, so if that was the issue I would have known way before the media knew, so I wasn't worried about it at all," Aldridge said after the team's shootaround in preparation for Friday night's preseason finale against Houston.
Pressed by a radio reporter to say he loves San Antonio, Aldridge said, "I do love San Antonio. I own my house here, so I'm here."
Seriously, what is he supposed to say? Aldridge signed in San Antonio last summer and had the most efficient year of his career in 2015-16. Along with Kawhi Leonard, he is supposed to define the next era of Spurs basketball. If he is indeed displeased with Leonard's star eclipsing his own, as the Express-News' Jabari Young reported, he certainly never would say so publicly.
Assuming that a trade is not imminent, this story will fade or come to the forefront depending on how San Antonio plays. With Tim Duncan's retirement and Pau Gasol replacing Boris Diaw, some observers suspect the Spurs will slip on the defensive end despite the presence of Leonard, the back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year. If that's the case, or if Gasol doesn't fit as seamlessly as expected on the offensive end, then San Antonio might have to take another look at roster construction. If the Spurs look as cohesive as they usually do and Aldridge is effective at both ends, then the speculation about his future should die down.