LaMarcus Aldridge on Signing Nets Contract: 'I'm Not Here to Be an All-Star'March 31, 2021
LaMarcus Aldridge understands there are significant expectations for the Brooklyn Nets this season. Anything less than an NBA title counts as a failure for the forward's new team. But those expectations largely fall on the shoulders of James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
Fresh off his buyout in San Antonio, the veteran is just trying to fit in on his new team.
"I'm not here to be an All-Star," Aldridge told reporters Tuesday. "That's not what I'm trying to do. I'm just trying to bring the value, try to bring the things I'm good at and trying to help this team win. I'm not worried about being an All-Star anymore."
Aldridge is averaging 13.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 21 games this season. He hasn't made an All-Star Game since 2019. At age 35, he fits in better as a complementary player on the roster rather than a standout.
The Dallas native certainly seems to understand that's all the Nets want from him, telling reporters he's in Brooklyn to "fill a void."
On a roster with DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin and Nicolas Claxton, Aldridge isn't even guaranteed he'll remain a starter at this point in his career. He's accepted that, too, not that he won't be pushing for a role.
"He understands that this is a different role and a different team," Nets head coach Steve Nash said. "I want him to find that natural balance between the way he has traditionally played and the way we play."
As the Nets gear up for a postseason run—and attempt to capture the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference—Aldridge will continue to push himself in whatever minutes he gets. That doesn't mean he's giving up on starting, but making sure the team is successful comes first.
"I think anyone that's competitive will say, yeah, they want [to start] and they're going to fight for that," the 35-year-old said. "So I'm definitely trying to do my job and hopefully I get it."
If Aldridge is at his best, it won't matter if he's on the floor for the opening tipoff or checking in minutes later. Brooklyn will be as dangerous as any team in the league.