Aldridge with the Trail Blazers in December 2008
|No. 12 – San Antonio Spurs|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
July 19, 1985 |
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)|
|Listed weight||260 lb (118 kg)|
|High school||Seagoville (Dallas, Texas)|
|NBA draft||2006 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall|
|Selected by the Chicago Bulls|
|2006–2015||Portland Trail Blazers|
|2015–present||San Antonio Spurs|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
LaMarcus Nurae Aldridge (born July 19, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The power forward played college basketball for two seasons at the University of Texas. Aldridge was selected second overall in the 2006 NBA draft. After spending nine seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, he signed with the Spurs in 2015. He has been selected to four All-NBA teams and is a five-time NBA All-Star.
Aldridge attended the University of Texas. He declared for the 2004 NBA draft but ultimately withdrew his name. According to one report, Aldridge's initial decision to attend college rather than entering the pro ranks directly from high school was influenced by Shaquille O'Neal's personal advice that he should go to college and then evaluate his NBA prospects. However, in April 2006, near the end of his second year at UT, Aldridge announced that he would leave college to enter the 2006 NBA draft.
Aldridge was drafted second overall in the 2006 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls, only to have his rights traded to the Portland Trail Blazers for their pick, Tyrus Thomas, and Viktor Khryapa, shortly after. The Bulls acquired the pick from the New York Knicks in the 2005 Eddy Curry trade.
Aldridge missed the first seven games of the 2006–07 NBA season due to off-season shoulder surgery, but returned ahead of schedule due in part to an injury to fellow rookie teammate Brandon Roy. Aldridge made an immediate impact on offense, averaging 8.4 points on 54% shooting from the field through his first 14 games. After the loss of starting center Joel Przybilla, in February 2007 to season-ending knee surgery, Aldridge was awarded the starting center position and improved his scoring to 14.7 points with 8.0 rebounds per game in the month of March. This placed him second in the voting for the Western Conference Rookie of the Month to Roy. On March 31, 2007, in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers, Aldridge was taken to Providence Hospital in Portland for shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat. He was diagnosed with Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome on April 9 and missed the remaining eight games of the 2006–07 season. Aldridge started 22 games his rookie season.
Aldridge elevated his play in his sophomore year, with career highs in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals, and finished third in voting for the NBA Most Improved Player Award. During this season, Aldridge had injury troubles due to plantar fasciitis, which caused him to miss games from December 11 to December 18, 2007. After the time missed, Aldridge still had some trouble with the foot but was able to play effectively.
Aldridge played inconsistently to start the season, adjusting to more defensive pressure. He called the first 15 games "the worst funk" of his life but gradually improved as the season went on.
Aldridge developed his offensive game over the course of the season, still relying heavily on his midrange fade away shot. He finished the season averaging 18.1 points and 7.5 rebounds. Aldridge scored over 20 points in half of the last 28 games of the season. For his first time in the league Aldridge nearly played a full season, missing only one game.
In late October, Aldridge signed a five-year, $65 million contract extension with Portland. Before committing to Aldridge, the Trail Blazers finalized a five-year, $80 million deal with All-Star Brandon Roy.
Aldridge further emerged as both a player and a leader after Brandon Roy went out with knee problems in December 2010. In spite of Portland's "send LA to LA" program – the NBA All-Star game was in Los Angeles and Aldridge's nickname is "L-A" – Aldridge failed to get named to the Western Conference squad. He was, however, awarded the NBA Player of the Week for January 17–23 and February 7–13, and scored a career-high 42 points against the Chicago Bulls on February 7, 2011. On March 2, he joined Clyde Drexler (1991) and Kelvin Ransey (1981) as the only Blazers to ever receive the NBA Player of the Month award. Aldridge was runner-up to Kevin Love for the Most Improved Player Award, and voted to the All-NBA Third Team with 135 votes.
Due to the lockout, the 2011–12 season did not start until Christmas Day 2011. Blazer fans were hopeful that the three players advertised in their "Rise With Us" promotional campaign (Aldridge, Roy and Greg Oden) would finally have a chance to play together for a "full" season. Those plans evaporated when Roy, who suffered from chronic knee problems due to the lack of cartilage in them, retired and Oden, who had only played in 82 games in the previous four seasons, had yet another setback in his effort to rehabilitate his knees. Aldridge was named a reserve on the Western Conference All-Star team in 2012.
On November 12, 2012, Aldridge recorded a career high eight assists in a 87-95 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. In 2013, Aldridge was named an All-Star for the second time in his career. He averaged 21.1 points per game, a career high 9.1 rebounds per game and also recorded a career high 2.6 assists per game in 37.7 minutes per game. The Trail Blazers went 33-49 and missed the playoffs for the second straight year.
Despite trade rumors during the 2013 offseason, Aldridge voiced his desire to stay put in Portland, while also asking for improvements to the Blazers' roster. Aldridge started out his eighth NBA season strong, recording five straight double-doubles from November 9 to November 17. On November 23, 2013, in a game against the Warriors, Aldridge was involved in an altercation after Warriors center Andrew Bogut became entangled with Joel Freeland. On November 25, it was announced that he was fined $45,000 for escalating the incident. The very same day, Aldridge was named Western Conference Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career. The award came in the midst of an 11-game win streak for the Blazers, during which Aldridge averaged 21.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.5 blocks per game. On December 12, 2013, Aldridge scored 31 points and grabbed a career-high 25 rebounds in a 111–104 victory over the Houston Rockets, becoming the first player in Portland Trail Blazers franchise history with at least 30 points and 25 rebounds in a game. On January 23, 2014, Aldridge recorded a career high 44 points along with 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks in a 110-105 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
The Trail Blazers went 31-10 over the first half of the 2014 season, consistently staying near the top of the Western Conference through the first three months of the season, and making a push for a return to the playoffs. Alongside teammate Damian Lillard, Aldridge was voted in as a reserve for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game, his third straight appearance. He finished fifth in the frontcourt fan voting, garnering over 600,000 votes.
Aldridge suffered a lower back contusion during the third quarter of a game versus the Spurs on March 12, 2014. He missed the next seven games, but returned in time to help the Blazers secure their 30th playoff berth and first since 2011.
On April 20, 2014, Aldridge recorded a new career high and franchise playoff high of 46 points along with 18 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks in Game 1 of the opening round of the playoffs against the Houston Rockets which ended in a 122-120 overtime win for the Portland Trail Blazers. On April 23, 2014, in Game 2 of the Blazers' series against the Houston Rockets, Aldridge tallied 43 points and 8 rebounds. He joins Michael Jordan, Jerry West, Allen Iverson, and Tracy McGrady as the only players in NBA history to score 89 or more points in the first two games of a playoff series. Over the entire six-game series with Houston, Aldridge averaged 29.8 points and over 2.5 blocks per game. In the next series against the San Antonio Spurs, Aldridge struggled, shooting only 41.7 percent from the field, as the Blazers were handily defeated in five games. Ultimately, Aldridge had a career season in 2014, winning three Western Conference Player of the Week awards, and recording career highs in points per game, rebounds per game, free-throw percentage, defensive rebounds, and double-doubles.
On December 9, 2014, in a game against the Detroit Pistons, Aldridge passed Terry Porter for second on the franchise's all-time scoring list with 11,333 career points. After leading Portland over the first half of the season with averages of 23.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, Aldridge was ruled out for six to eight weeks on January 23, 2015, after tearing the radial collateral ligament in his left thumb. However, he missed just two games after deciding against surgery and returned to the starting lineup on January 24 against the Washington Wizards, scoring 26 points in a victory that followed two losses with him sidelined. After being selected as a frontcourt reserve to his fourth straight NBA All-Star Game appearance on January 29, Aldridge was named as a starter on February 14 by Western Conference All-Star head coach Steve Kerr, replacing the injured Anthony Davis.
On March 20, 2015, Aldridge became the Trail Blazers' all-time leader in rebounds by recording 10 against the Orlando Magic. Meanwhile, however, the Blazers were cooling off after a 30-11 record through the first 41 games of the season when shooting guard Wesley Matthews, who Aldridge called "the heart and soul" of the Trail Blazers, tore his Achilles tendon on March 5 against the Dallas Mavericks and missed the rest of the season and playoffs, The Blazers subsequently went 21-20 through their final 41 games. In the playoffs, the short-handed Blazers were outplayed and outmatched by the Memphis Grizzlies in five games. Aldridge averaged a career-best 23.4 points per game, made a league-best 659 field goals, and was voted onto the All-NBA Second Team.
On July 9, 2015, Aldridge signed a four-year, $80 million contract with the San Antonio Spurs. Upon being acquired by the Spurs, Aldridge was granted the number 12 jersey despite it having been retired for Bruce Bowen. Bowen gave Aldridge and the Spurs his blessing to unretire the number for him. He made his debut for the Spurs in the team's season opener on October 28 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. In just under 32 minutes of action, he recorded 11 points and 5 rebounds in a 112–106 loss. On November 11, he returned to Portland for the first time as a Spur, recording 23 points and 6 rebounds in a 113–101 win over his former team. On February 1, 2016, he scored a season-high 28 points in a 107–92 win over the Orlando Magic, helping the Spurs win its 35th straight home game (dating to March 2015), good for the sixth-best streak in league history. He topped his season-high mark two days later, scoring 36 points in a 110–97 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. With the win, the Spurs moved to 27–0 at home to start the season, snapping a tie with the 1977–78 Portland Trail Blazers for the best home start among Western Conference teams. On February 8, he was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, February 1 through Sunday, February 7. He averaged 26.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while shooting .597 (37-62) from the field and .909 from the foul line to help the Spurs go 4–0 for the week.
After dislocating his right pinkie finger on April 7, it bothered him for the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs. As the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, the Spurs faced a depleted Memphis Grizzlies team in the first round. In a Game 1 win, Aldridge scored 17 points. The Spurs went on to sweep the Grizzlies in the first round to move on to the conference semi-finals, where they faced the Oklahoma City Thunder. In Game 1 of the series against the Thunder, Aldridge scored a game-high 38 points on 18-of-23 shooting in a 124–92 win. In a Game 2 loss, he bested that mark by scoring 41 points.
In the Spurs' season opener on October 25, 2016, Aldridge recorded 26 points and 14 rebounds in a 129–100 win over the Golden State Warriors. His next best performance came on December 25 against the Chicago Bulls. Aldridge had a season-high 33 points in a 119–110 win over the Bulls, marking his second-highest scoring output as a Spur. He made his first nine attempts while scoring 20 points in the opening period, his most in any quarter with the Spurs. On March 11, 2017, he was ruled out for an indefinite period due to an occurrence of a minor heart arrhythmia. He was medically cleared to return on March 15. In his first game back that night, Aldridge had 19 points and seven rebounds in a 110–106 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. As a result, Aldridge reached 1,000 points for a 10th straight season, joining LeBron James and Dwyane Wade as the only active players (at the time) with that streak.
On May 11, 2017, the Spurs eliminated the Houston Rockets with a 114–75 victory in Game 6 of their second-round playoff series behind a season-high 34 points from Aldridge. Aldridge had failed to get out of the second round in his previous six postseason trips. He also became the first Spur to score 34 points with 12 rebounds in a playoff game since Tim Duncan against the Phoenix Suns in 2008. The Spurs went on to lose to the Warriors in a clean sweep in the Western Conference Finals. Aldridge closed out a disappointing series with his second eight-point effort against the Warriors. He entered Game 4 averaging 18 points, but was held to 4-for-11 shooting in 22 minutes in the series finale.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
In 2007, Aldridge was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart ailment. He missed the rest of the 2006–07 regular season in order to monitor the problem and correct it. Prior to the 2011–12 season, Aldridge once again underwent surgery to correct complications associated with his heart condition.
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