It seems like it was yesterday and at the same time, it feels like it was forever ago that LaMarcus Aldridge called Rip City home. Aldridge, once the face of the franchise, left in 2015 to play with the San Antonio Spurs in his home state of Texas.
At the time, Aldridge leaving felt like a bitter betrayal. He said he wanted to be the greatest Blazers player of all-time and then bolted in free agency. Fans felt played. Teammates seemed to be caught off guard. Reports started to surface that there may have been a rift between him and Damian Lillard. The whole situation just felt dirty.
But as the old saying goes, time heals all wounds. Now, some four years later, it appears Aldridge and Lillard have mended fences and according to The Athletic, Aldridge is open to returning to Portland.
"I keep telling him (Damian Lillard) I’m going to come back and finish there," Aldridge said in a recent interview. "That’s something him and I have talked about — playing together again.”
So, the question is, would you welcome The L-Train back to Portland?
The Outsiders share their thoughts:
Chris Burkhardt: Don't let hurt feeling from 2015 cloud your judgment. This is a no-brainer. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. LaMarcus Aldridge is still a high-level player. He was an All-Star this season and can still change the game. As much as I enjoy Al-Farouq Aminu, I would take Aldridge over him 10 out to 10 times without thinking twice. A team with Lillard, CJ McCollum Aldridge, and Jusuf Nurkic as its core is pretty dang good if you ask me. I'm not thinking about this for the story or the reunion, I'm just thinking about basketball. If one of the best power forwards in the game wants to play for you, you welcome him on board.
Will it happen? Probably not. But I won't be upset if it does.
Alex Haigh: This is how I feel, and I think I've come a long way since 2015 when he ruined my life... I am so over that, that I think I'm ok with him coming back. As long as it benefits the team and as long as they aren't a dirty player, bring 'em in.
Jake McGrady: Under the right circumstances. If it's in free agency, he'll be 35-years old when his contract ends in San Antonio in 2021, at that point if we're able to get him on some sort of cheaper veterans deal... even if he were a backup he's still better than most of the power forwards in the NBA. To answer the question, yes.
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