Signing LaMarcus Aldridge was the easy part for the San Antonio Spurs. The hard part is what comes after – namely, integrating Aldridge into the Spurs’ well-oiled machine while sustaining their consistent success. Tim Duncan is going to be an essential part of that integration. For any other star, it might be a tough adjustment, ceding responsibility and opportunity to a newcomer.
But Duncan is of a different breed; he’s not worried about his numbers. He’s worried about Aldridge’s, rather, as he tells Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report:
In assessing how he’ll mesh with Aldridge, Duncan says, “I’m not worried about him benefiting my game; I’m going to worry about me benefiting his. I’m going to let him do his thing and just see where I can fit in and help. I’m going to ride his coattails and I’m going to push him.”
This is the first time in a long time that Duncan has played up front with a player of Aldridge’s caliber, and it’s the first time Aldridge has had the opportunity to play alongside a legend. Will Aldridge take to Duncan’s tutoring, or will he ignore it? Will they mesh right away, or will there be growing pains the likes of which we haven’t yet seen from the Spurs? One thing is for certain: It’s going to be fun watching this über-talented pair develop.
Trust is a crucial part of any burgeoning relationship. The stronger the trust, the greater the success. Duncan and Gregg Popovich share an amazing amount of trust between them, which is why they’ve been so successful for so long. Yet, trust still only goes so far. Popovich trusts Duncan explicitly on the court. With his car, though? Not so much, even though Duncan owns his own body shop.
“We’ve done tires for Pop. That’s about all we’re allowed t o do,” says Duncan, laughing.
Maybe that changes if the new-look Spurs win another title. Probably not.
(Via Bleacher Report)