San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said that he “begged” NBA power forward LaMarcus Aldridge to sign with his team during Aldridge’s 2015 free agency, according to a tweet posted on Twitter.com.
The tweet was posted on Nov. 1 by Jeff McDonald, a Spurs beat reporter. The question that led to the coach’s comments: How involved were you recruiting LMA, Pop?
Coach Popovich is not one to hold his tongue. Well, on second thought, maybe he is, considering the fact that his in-game sideline interviews are always so short.
In the case of trying to sway free agent Aldridge to join the Spurs, on the other hand, Popovich was apparently all but mute. The future Hall of Fame coach said the following regarding his role in bringing Aldridge back to the state of Texas:
“I was there. I spoke. I begged. I got on my knees. I offered my children. Things like that.”
Aldridge was one of the biggest names in free agency during the 2015 offseason. His All-Star-caliber skill level had NBA teams vying to sign him left and right. He had meetings with the Spurs, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors, according to Yahoo Sports.
Aldridge had two meetings with the Spurs. The first meeting reportedly took place on the morning of Wednesday, July 1 in Los Angeles; Aldridge met with Popovich and players Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard. The second meeting took place two days later on Friday, July 3; Aldridge again met with Popovich, who was joined by other members of the Spurs’ coaching staff.
On the night of Friday, July 3, Aldridge had reportedly narrowed his choices down to the Spurs and Suns. On the morning of Saturday, July 4, he decided to sign with San Antonio.
Aldridge’s decision is not surprising. The Spurs are consistent title contenders that have won five NBA championships during the Popovich era. During that time span, they have appeared in six NBA Finals series. Furthermore, Aldridge is a native of Texas; he played both prep and college basketball in his home state.
Aldridge signed a four-year, $80 million maximum contract with the Spurs, giving his new team yet another front-court threat to boast about. Coach Pop’s shameless free-agency tactics deserve a round of applause.
LaMarcus Aldridge was born on July 19, 1985 in Dallas, Texas. He is 6-feet-11-inches tall and weighs 240 pounds. He was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. Before joining the Spurs, he spent his first nine NBA seasons with the Portland Trailblazers. He is 30 years old.
Gregg Popovich is one of the winningest coaches in NBA history. He has attained more than 1,000 wins in his NBA coaching career. As a head coach, he has led the Spurs to at least 50 regular-season wins a total of 16 times. He is a three-time NBA Coach of the Year award winner.
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