Damian Lillard Wants Blazers to Retire LaMarcus Aldridge's Jersey After RetirementApril 15, 2021
After LaMarcus Aldridge unexpectedly announced his retirement from the NBA on Thursday, former teammate Damian Lillard told ESPN's Jalen & Jacoby that the Portland Trail Blazers should retire his number:
"It's time for the Blazers to retire No. 12," Lillard said. "You know, he had an amazing career in a Trail Blazers uniform."
While Lillard acknowledged Aldridge lost some fans when he left for the San Antonio Spurs in free agency in 2015, he said the forward was a key part of the organization.
"There is no denying the kind of career he had in Portland and what he meant to this city," the point guard said.
Portland drafted Aldridge No. 2 overall in 2006, and he spent the first nine seasons of his 15-year NBA career with the Blazers. He lived up to expectations, earning four All-Star selections with the organization while earning All-NBA honors three different times.
Aldridge and Lillard are the only Trail Blazers players to earn All-Star selections since 2010.
The two played together for three seasons from 2012 to 2015, winning 54 games in 2013-14 while reaching the Western Conference semifinals. It matched the franchise's best winning percentage since 2000.
While Aldridge never won an NBA title with either Portland or San Antonio, he was among the most productive players in his era and has a 50.9 percent chance of making the Hall of Fame, according to Basketball Reference's formula.
The forward is also the all-time leading rebounder in Trail Blazers history and ranks third in points scored behind Clyde Drexler and Lillard.
That could be enough to see Aldridge's jersey hang from the rafters in Portland.