That's what Aldridge leads us to believe anyway, having apparently spent All-Star Weekend listening to various players express a desire to partner with Lillard and himself.
"Definitely a few guys have told me that this weekend," Aldridge told CSNNW's Chris Haynes of players informing him they want to play in Portland.
"As far as recruiting and things like that, that never happens."
Now that Anthony's treacherous duplicity is out of the way (chill, it's a joke), we can react appropriately to Aldridge's leaked intelligence with an obligatory, "Oh, snap."
It wasn't long ago Haynes himself was bringing word that Aldridge's camp was meeting with Blazers general manager Neil Olshey in hopes of brokering a trade. Aldridge never once banqueted those rumors, but there were so many different reports floating around, some foundation of truth to his displeasure had to exist.
I guess we making up stuff now huh..... Been in Dallas for going on two weeks. Smh— Lamarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) July 18, 2013
That was then, this is now. And now, the Blazers are winning. Not as much as they were before, but they're still battling the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets for third place in the Western Conference. They're also within two games of the second-place San Antonio Spurs.
Life is good in Portland overall. Winning, as Lillard himself points out, remedies everything.
"I think winning and the type of people that we are will attract people," Lillard told Haynes. "In that way, I guess we are recruiting but I haven’t actively done so."
Assuming this is all true, Lillard and Aldridge aren't guilty of tampering—unless allowing the Blazers' record to speak for itself is considered tampering. The dyad is merely soaking in all the interest current All-Stars have in relocating to Portland, where the Blazers are making mincemeat of their once mediocre ceiling.
This, of course, begs the question: Who are these anonymous All-Stars?
Will Portland now be a preferred destination for superstars?
Is 2015-free-agent-to-be Kevin Love seduced by the prospect of returning to Oregon, where he attended high school, Los Angeles roots be damned? Was Roy Hibbert mad Indiana Pacers and Eastern Conference All-Star coach Frank Vogel played him under 13 minutes Sunday night, prompting him to consider leaving in 2015?
Or is Joe Johnson hoping the Brooklyn Nets can move his immovable contract so that he can gold brick his way to an eighth All-Star appearance out West?
Whoever the All-Stars in question were, Aldridge and Lillard have already taken the next step in ensuring Portland remains a hotbed for player interest: affixing a sense of we-can-keep-your-identity-a-secret version of trust to the Blazers' winning ways.