Ian Thomsen at SI.com (one of my favorite NBA scribes, by the way) has a piece out today about the growth of LaMarcus Aldridge
both as a player and as a leader.
Aldridge isn't going to be the kind of know-it-all leader who lectures his younger teammates.
"He's a quiet leader who does what he's supposed to do when he's supposed to do it," Stotts said. "When things are going the wrong way, we go to him. I don't even have to call the plays. They know if the other team has scored two or three times in a row, or if we haven't scored two or three times in a row, they're going to call a play that's designed to get LaMarcus the ball."
As Aldridge approaches his peak years, his career goals have become more focused and significant.
"I want to be more of a dominant player down the stretch," he said. "I've had times where I've been more dominant in the fourth quarter, and I can get us a bucket, or I can get fouled, or my teammates get a really good pass to me. I've had moments where I've been good or bad, but I want to get it to where it's the fourth quarter, five minutes to go, tied game, down two, I've got the ball -- I'm going to make something good happen every time. That's what I want to get to.
"I've wanted to grow as a leader, be more vocal, but always be doing it by example. I've never been that selfish guy. People always say I'm passive, but I'm not. I'm very unselfish, and I just want to win."
I've seen a change in Aldridge's leadership this season and it's good to see that people outside of Portland have taken notice as well.