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Q & A With LaMarcus Aldridge At Summer League

  1. Written by: caseyholdahl  / avg. rating: 5.0

    LaMarcus Aldridge was in Las Vegas to catch Portland's final game of the 2010 Las Vegas Summer League. While answering questions from the media during the game, Aldridge discussed his offseason workouts, the signing of Wesley Matthews to an offer sheet, his thoughts on the search for a new GM and assistant coaches, Rudy Fernandez, the contracts being given out, whether he could have got max money if he had waited to sign his contract and why he decided not to lay for Team USA. The following is a transcript of those remarks.

    How is your summer going? What have you been working on?

    Aldridge: "It's going good. Just working out on body strength, more power, my core, things like that. I think that can make it better next year."

    To get stronger?

    Aldridge: "I think I'm pretty strong so far. I'm just trying to get more powerful, you know? That's the part of my game I really wanted to work on this summer. I'm working on it now.

    Brandon said he was working out with a personal trainer. Are you doing the same?

    Aldridge: "Yeah, you have to. We need so much work and we want somebody who is going to be in-tune with us, so you have to find somebody to actually be there with you.

    Kaleb and Pendergraph came out and worked with you?

    Aldridge: "Kaleb came up, not Jeff. Kaleb came up and we got up shots for about a week or so. Pretty good week for me, just staying in shape and things like that.

    What did you think about the signing of Wesley Matthews?

    Aldridge: "Good guard, very talented. He played well against us every time we played them. I think he's a great asset to the team. I think he's going to make us better, so I'm looking forward to it.

    What have you been working on basketball-wise?

    Aldridge: "Pretty much everything: my shot, my ball handling, doing more iso moves like elbow, more face-up things and things like that.

    So there's not one specific area you're working on?

    Aldridge: "Just trying to do everything, trying to fine tune everything and try to get better.

    What's your reaction to some of the moves that have been made this offseason regarding Pritchard and McMillan's staff?

    Aldridge: "It was surprising. You don't think it's going to happen but It's a part of the business. I love all those guys. I think all of them will do well but this is Paul Allen's team and Nate has a big say, so I think they wanted to try something new.

    You been following all the moves?

    Aldridge: "Nah. It's been so much stuff going on I just try to stay focused on trying to get better, trying to take care of myself, make sure I'm ready for next season.

    Have you talked to Rudy? You guys are pretty close.

    Aldridge: "I haven't heard anything. I heard some rumors about he expressed that he wasn't happy no more, but I haven't heard anything else. I like him as a teammate. Very good guy. Hopefully he comes back, but like I said, it's a business. Guys want to be where they're happy. If he's not happy ...

    Did he every say anything to you about wanting to leave?

    Aldridge: "Nah, he never said anything.

    What do you think about the way things have gone in the league this offseason from LeBron to some of the contracts being handed out?

    Aldridge: "It's the NBA. It's starting to look like baseball. I was talking to my homeboy, it's starting to look like baseball like the Yankees. You can go buy all your players. It makes it more interesting next year. I feel a team that was good just got really good and a team that was good got bad. A big difference.

    Some have said that you would have gotten max money if you would have waited to sign this offseason.

    Aldridge: "Shoulda, woulda, coulda you know? I don't live in the past. It didn't happen, I'm happy with everything that his going on and happy to be here.

    When are you coming back to Portland?

    Aldridge: "When it's time to start training probably, September or October.

    Are you spending a lot of time with your kid?

    Aldridge: "Yeah, a lot of time catching up with him, getting to know him a little bit because he's changed so much.

    Have you talked to any of the guys this summer?

    Aldridge: "Nah, I've been giving them space. We see each other every day so talking on the phone, it's not good for us (laughs).

    Brandon said you're birthday was coming up. To sticking around in Vegas for that?

    Aldridge: "It's tomorrow. I'm going home tomorrow. I just came down for the last game because Kaleb is doing a pretty good job, 3-1. That's impressive.

    What have you thought about Kaleb's performance?

    Aldridge: "I've been asking all the guys, trying to get insight. They said he's a really good coach. He gives freedom but he also gives structure. All the guys had really good things to say about him.

    He's doing two-a-day's and making guys do pushups in shootarounds.

    Aldridge: "That's just Kaleb. He's an intense guy. But it worked didn't it? 3-1 right now, so that's good for him.

    Why did you decide not to play with Team USA in preparations for the World Championships?

    Aldridge: "I played the most time I've every played in the NBA, so I wanted to give my body time to heal. I didn't want to get any nagging injuries or anything.

    So you needed a break?

    Aldridge: "Yeah, by body was tired. Real tired

    Is it one of those things where your priorities are with the Blazers?

    Aldridge: "I wanted to do it and its an honor but I don't want to run myself into the ground where I can't play well in the season. I took rest over being overly tired.



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