Aldridge named to NBA AllStar team

first_imgThis is what you’d call one of those “good problems.” Like he does every year, Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge purchased an airplane ticket to his home city of Dallas during the All-Star break. After all, he was denied selection to the All-Star Game in each of his first five NBA seasons, so perhaps in an act of self-defense, he kept his hopes low and planned on heading back to Texas. Then the word came from the NBA on Thursday afternoon: For the first time in his career, Aldridge had been selected as an All-Star team reserve. Dallas will have to wait. This time, he’s Orlando-bound. “I’m going to have to see if I can get that money back,” Aldridge said on a conference call. “I was planning on not making it. I didn’t think I was going to make it.” Aldridge’s thoughts stood in stark contrast to the rumors circling around the league. The 26-year-old’s 23.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game are fifth and 10th in the NBA, respectively — which might be why Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks, Denver coach George Karl, and New Orleans’ coach Monty Williams had each said that Aldridge earned their vote before the results were announced. Even so, Aldridge made sure to keep his optimism in check. It was just a year ago that he was considered a strong candidate to earn the final spot on the Western Conference roster, only to watch Minnesota’s Kevin Love be selected in front of him. So when he got the nod this year, he made sure to pinch himself before patting himself on the back.last_img

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