LaMarcus Aldridge took questions from the media via conference call Thursday afternoon after being named a Western Conference All-Star reserve. Questions in the following transcript are paraphrased, while Aldridge's answers are roughly transcribed due to poor audio quality.
Congrats. How does it feel to be a two-time All-Star?
"Thanks. It feels good to be a two-time All-Star …"
Where where you when you heard you made the team and what was your first reaction?
... "I was surprised, for one because I didn't think I was going to get it this year because guys were playing well and our record isn't as good as it was last year. I was happy… "
Will you need to get more tickets this year since Houston (site of the All-Star game) is close to Dallas (Aldridge's home town)?
"That was one of my biggest fears: If I did make it, how many people would try reach out of a ticket. I'm going to have to get more than I did for Orlando but I'm not going to get too crazy with it."
What's the biggest step you made in improving from last year when you made the team to this year?
"I think being more of a leader on the court, off the court. I've been a better passer. Not getting too high or too low. I think those things add up."
Your teammates and even some opposing coaches think you're underrated. Do you feel under-appreciated?
"I don't like to get into all of that. I thank them for saying that, but I don't really get into all that. I just try to go out and do my job every night, try to help my team. I do that, I compete every night."
Do you expect to get more minutes in this All-Star game than you did in Orlando?
"I think I will. First year is like initiation year… "
A lot of players make one All-Star team. What does it mean to be a multiple All-Star selection?
"It shows all the hard work that me, my teammates have done is paying off. I tried to come back with an edge after having surgery. I definitely wanted to push myself even harder to be better this year. I've been okay so far. It means a lot to me. Hopefully I can be a three and four time All-Star also."
Are you concerned they're going to play you at center considering most of the team is point guards and power forwards?
"It's an All-Star game so it's the only time I'm okay with playing center (laughs). It's okay. Normally I don't like that 'center' tag but in the All-Star game it's fine. As long as I'm having fun and enjoying the moment."
What's your best memory of Orlando?
"Probably just being on the court. I had a few. I think one would be being on the court and looking up at my mom, warming up, seeing how happy she was. I think another one would be being in a circle with Nash and Kobe …"
Were you surprised by anyone who didn't make the Western Conference All-Star team?
"I mean, there's always going to be someone that shoulda made it that doesn't make it. I went through that for a few years my previous years. I knew someone wasn't going to get in and I thought it would be me this year, but I got in. There's always guys that should be in, but everybody can't get in."
Do you think Damian Lillard should have made the team?
"He's my teammates so I definitely feel like he should have been an All-Star but I think it will give him more motivation to come back next year and be even better."