PORTLAND - When the TNT crew said it, I couldn’t believe it.
“Lamarcus (Aldridge) and Lebron (James) are the only players averaging 20 points and eight rebounds per game this season, ” host Ernie Johnson, Jr. said.
For about a week, I wondered if Blazers F/C Lamarcus Aldridge would make this year's All-Star team.
I thought he had a big advantage with Kevin Love missing most of the season thus far with that hand injury. I thought he had a great chance given the Blazers have exceeded expectations as a team, so naturally their best player would receive the accolades.
But I also wondered if his somewhat slow start to the season might hurt his chances.
Also wondered if Warriors’ F David Lee might sneak up and grab the spot. Lee did make it, but so did Aldridge. He becomes the second Trail Blazer in franchise history to be named to multiple All-Star teams.
Owner Paul Allen took to Twitter, where he often makes most of his statements regarding the Blazers, and offered this upon hearing the announcement;
"Well deserved selection. Congrats to LA for making his 2nd NBA All Star team in a row.”
Damian Lillard has been nothing short of spectacular for Portland. He is the Rookie of the half-year, and will undoubtedly be an All-Star in years to come.
But it’s clear who still drives the Blazer bus. Aldridge remains the face of the franchise, its top player, its most recognizable. And now he’s a two-time All-Star and there is something very impressive about having that on your resume. Even more so, when the other coaches voted you on both times.
“I was surprised, “ Aldridge said via conference call with reporters.“I was surprised to make it since a lot of guys are playing well. But I was happy when I found out.”
Now with the game set to be played in Houston, Texas, which is just a short trip from Aldridge’s native Dallas, LaMarcus can host even more family members and friends than he did last February in Orlando.
“That was actually my biggest fear about making the team,” he joked. “All the people that are going to reach out to me for tickets and stuff. It’ll be a lot more than Orlando last year,” he continued.
Well, when you’re a two-time All-Star, and aside from Lebron James, the league's only other 20 point, 8 rebound per night guy, everyone wants to get in on the fun.
With that $250,000 All-Star bonus he earned, he can afford to bring a few friends along.