Barring some sort of 11th hour change of heart (which, like, never happens), LaMarcus Aldridge will soon sign a very large contract to play for the San Antonio Spurs after spending his first nine NBA seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. For all of those nine seasons, Aldridge has worn the number 12, which the Spurs retired in honor of Bruce Bowen. So, a number change is in order, right?
Well, it turns out that Bowen is super chill, and essentially said, “Nah, take it. Who cares?” That’s according to Spurs beat writer Jeff McDonald:
“You want LaMarcus to feel part of the family,” Bowen told the Express-News. “If I can have a hand in that, shoot, why not? I don’t play anymore.
“I hope it helps (Aldridge) feel comfortable,” Bowen said. “If he’s comfortable, the sky’s the limit for him here. It’s one less thing he has to worry about.”
Your reaction to this story may have been along the lines of, “Bowen’s number was retired?” In fact, it was. Three years ago. Bowen was an early prototype for the 3-and-D wing that’s now crucial to functioning in the modern NBA. He was the starting small forward on three NBA champion Spurs teams, and was a tough, smart (but certainly never dirty, oh no) defender who shot 39 percent on three pointers in his career (and 42 percent in the playoffs). That’s nothing to sneeze at, but if Aldridge lives up to the kind of money the Spurs are paying him, they may need to share space in the rafters one day.
(Via San Antonio Express-News)