Wednesday 24th April 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

LaMarcus Aldridge Actually Had A Second Meeting with the Lakers

LMA

LaMarucs Aldridge is now a member of a the San Antonio Spurs, but he’s also fresh off the free-agent carousel, a ride that included two meetings with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Why two? Because the first one didn’t go well. That was the story at least. But then Aldridge held a second meeting with the Spurs and people started to wonder whether the Lakers could, in fact, end up on his super-short list of potential destinations. Maybe he wasn’t pissed that they focused almost solely on non-basketball mystique. Maybe he was actually intrigued. And even if it was the former, he respected the Lakers enough to give them that second meeting.

As it turns out, it might have been neither of those things. From the way Aldridge tells it now, as a member of the Spurs, it was more of a curiosity thing.

Here’s the lowdown, as recounted by Aldridge while on ESPN Radio’s The Russillo Show (via Basketball Insiders):

The thought was Los Angeles, with Russell in the fold, would then turn its focus to bringing in a talented big man in free agency with guys like Aldridge, Kevin Love, DeAndre Jordan and Greg Monroe available. Ultimately, the Lakers would secure two meetings with Aldridge, but they were unable to finalize a deal with the All-Star.

With rumors running rampant about the initial meeting going astray, Aldridge decided to clear the air.

“With the Lakers, it wasn’t anything crazy,” Aldridge said. “It was just the [first] meeting didn’t go as well as I wanted it to, so I did another one. People blew it out of proportion about things happening in the meeting. That wasn’t correct. It just didn’t go as good as I wanted it to so I had one more.”

Even as Aldridge tries to paint a different picture, it sure seems like the Lakers simply bombed the first meeting and needed another one to redeem themselves. On the bright side, though, it says a lot that a 21-win organization was able to get that second meeting, irrespective of the circumstances.

Honestly, it’s almost more impressive that the Lakers landed a second get-together after striking out completely on the first one. Securing a another sit-down, no matter your record, after wowing your target is one thing. Holding the clout necessary to get a mulligan, however futile, when your state of basketball existence remains in shambles is another, totally different thing.

So if there’s anything positive to take away from Aldridge essentially confirming that the Lakers, at least when free agency officially began, were never really, truly an option, it’s this: They were important enough that he gave them two chances to fail.

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