LaMarcus Aldridge left the Pacific Northwest in favor of joining Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs. Aldridge, a Texas native, signed a four-year, $80 million contract with the Spurs earlier this month.
Even though he’s leaving, Portland still is a special place for Aldridge.
“Portland holds a part of my heart that can’t be changed,” Aldridge told ESPN Radio. “Those are memories that will last forever. I think that city embraced me, and I embraced them. We grew together. We went from a team that [was] called the ‘Jail Blazers’ to actually being a team that everybody loved, and a team that everybody wanted to cheer for. So we had a great transition period together that I think both parties enjoyed.”
He expects to get booed upon his return because fans don’t understand why he left after nine years with the Trailblazers.
“I think going back [to Portland] my first time might be boos because I think people are really hurt by my decision,” Aldridge said. “They don’t understand why I left. So I think my first game back, I probably will be booed.”
In his nine seasons in Portland, Aldridge averaged 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.