The Portland Trail Blazers have released "New Team, New Dream" videos for All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge and center J.J. Hickson on Wednesday. The videos are part of this season's marketing effort and follow up similar videos for guards Wesley Matthews and Damian Lillard. The Blazers also released a mobile app recently.
Here's Aldridge's video. A transcript follows. Hickson's video is below.
My motivation every day is to be great. To me I feel like I haven't come close to my peak. I feel like I'm getting there but I'm not there. I feel like this year could be a really good platform for me to keep going where I'm trying to go. That go-to guy, the guy who leads his team to the playoffs, the guy that closes games, the guy who dominates a game offensively and defensively. I'm not satisfied, I'm still hungry, I haven't done half of the things I want to do.
I started playing when I was in the sixth grade. My brother took me out there, he was really, really good and I was really bad. He kind of helped me get started with playing basketball. Going to the park with him, everyone picking him first, him picking me on his team. Playing against grown men, who were stronger, faster and knew the game. That helped me learn the game.
My mom and my brother they backed me up from Day One. They supported me, seeing my mom try to provide for me and my brother, no matter what the odds say, she's going to find a way to not give into them. From back when we didn't have no food, no money, her finding a way to have food and money, no matter what, she's always behind me.
In school, my mom pushed me to be better than average. I could only bring home As and Bs. I felt like that set the groundwork for me to want to be better than average. I didn't want to be an average basketball, I want to be great. I feel like she set that tone.
Coach Luke [Maurice Lucas], he gave me invaluable knowledge of this city, if you go out and compete and play hard, you give this city everything you've got, they will follow you tenfold. I've seen that now. I feel like he was the one to really open that door for me to understand it. He taught me little things about the game. His presence around us, he definitely knew how to make everybody's day better. He's definitely missed around here. I'm just hoping I can be half the player he was.
When I really understood what Rip City was when we had that playoff rally. We went downtown at that huge stage, the whole courtyard was covered with fans. That really showed me that Rip City is a bunch of fans that love basketball, die-hard Blazers fans that will follow you through the trenches. This city is so passionate about basketball that it makes me want to get better. It makes me want to work that much harder.
Everything about this season has been new to me, new offense, new coach, new coaching staff, new point guard, new teammates. The word I would use for this season is 'new.' Having a bunch of guys who want to win, that compete every night, that are very unselfish that all have the same goal, let's get better and let's win a championship. I feel like that's the right way to do it.
Winning a championship, that's what I'm working for every summer. That's why I'm here every day, sweating, grinding, that's why I'm after practice getting up shots, that's why I'm in the weight room. It's all to win a championship one day. I work hard, I live, sleep, breathe the game to win.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter