LaMarcus Aldridge went on a free-agent tour before ultimately deciding to sign with the San Antonio Spurs. The New York Knicks were supposed to be a part of that tour, but the scheduled meeting between the two parties was canceled. Aldridge revealed the reason for that on the Russillo Show on ESPN Radio, saying the Knicks wanted him to “strictly” play center.
Playing only center wasn’t something Aldridge wanted to do, so the two sides agreed to cancel their meeting (via ESPN New York):
“They didn’t want to meet with me,” Aldridge said. “Some people said it was me. But it was both parties agreeing that we shouldn’t meet.”
Apparently Knicks president Phil Jackson really prioritized the center position in free agency, and once it was made clear that Aldridge didn’t want to be a full-time center, New York was ready to move on. The Knicks also pursued Greg Monroe and DeAndre Jordan before ending up with Robin Lopez.
While quitting the Aldridge chase because he didn’t want to exclusively play center sounds pretty bad, it’s highly unlikely the star big man was going to the Knicks anyway. There’s also some legitimacy to the thinking that Aldridge, as good as he is, playing solely or mostly at the 4 in New York wouldn’t have been the best fit at his age and price. So ultimately, this isn’t that big a deal.