LOS ANGELES — San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich revealed Thursday that forward LaMarcus Aldridge requested a trade over the summer, which in turn led to some critical self-examination.
Popovich pointed to that candid interaction with Aldridge as somewhat of a catalyst for the two coming to a better understanding before the start of the season. Asked what helped to bring about Aldridge’s resurgent 2017-18 campaign, Popovich deadpanned: “When he said, ‘I want to be traded.'”
“It’s as simple as that,” Popovich said. “I said, ‘Whoa, nobody’s ever said that to me before.’ It’s my 20-whatever year, and nobody’s ever said that like, ‘I’m not enjoying this. I’m not confident. I’m not sure you want me here. I want to be traded.'”
During training camp, Aldridge told ESPN that in a meeting over the summer with Popovich he “just spilled my heart about how I felt about how things were, and how things had been going.”