Portland Trail Blazers All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge did a video chat with Blazers radio broadcaster Antonio Harvey on Wednesday as part of the launch of his "New Team, New Dream" video advertisement.
Here are some of the top quotes and soundbytes from the extended interview.
What will you do after your career?
I see myself sitting at my house in Dallas, on the patio and watching TV, playing with my kids. This game is tough. I've definitely lost one of my steps in my seven years of playing this game. It doesn't come with a warning. You just wake up one day and you're slower. That's starting to hit me now. When I'm done, I'm just going to rest.
On people calling him a finesse player
If I don't have to bang a guy 20 times to score, then why do it?
I think people take my game as finesse but they don't see me banging Chuck Hayes six times to get to that spot and then shoot it. People just see my jumpshots, they don't see what I'm doing to get to my spots... [Banging with Hayes] takes work. You can't be soft or no finesse guy.
On perimeter shooting this season versus last season
With Nate [McMillan] it was more of me on the block all game, all day. People got used to seeing me in that light. The team was easier to scheme against. Now we have more movement. Nic [Batum] is playing better with all his movement. Wes [Matthews] is getting more shots. Dame [Lillard] has more freedom. Now it's more movement, teams can't crowd us as much. When things get tougher, I go to the block.
Goals for this season
For us to build this year and have something to look forward to next year.
Dame, he's cold-blooded. He took one shot last night, coach went 1-4 flat, he dribbled up, he pulled up, nothing but net. He's talented. He has that pace, confidence, that Chauncey Billups, Chris Paul have.
Staying healthy playing lots of minutes
It's tough. Last summer I had my surgery. I was not active for like three months. I missed the end of the season. I was mad at myself for shooting like 43 percent right now. My agent was like, 'You have to think about it. You missed the last 10 games and the offseason you couldn't even walk. Your timing is going to come back.'
Being an All-Star team next year
It was an honor. That was a long time waiting. For me and the city. It was a fun moment. It was too quick, playing three minutes, that was a little tough. The whole time was great. I think it's definitely not an All-Star break. It's work. You have to do media, you're traveling... I do want to go back but I don't feel any pressure at all. I feel like I'll be me, do what I do, and I should go back.
Power forward rivalries
The first three games Kevin Love played phenomenal. There was all this press about how he was killing me. The last game here I came out and I wanted to let everybody know, I was getting bad foul calls. I was in foul trouble all three games. That was the first game I wasn't in foul trouble, my team won it, I played better. Those games are big for me but I've always enjoyed playing Dirk. He's one of the best. He's so skilled, hard to guard, that's been fun for me over the years.
Transition on offense
I don't think people really understand that I played this style of offense six years. I've known how to run it. I know what to do when there are double teams. Now I'm going through this process of learning a new offense, learn my new shot selection. It's been tough but now I think now I'm starting to learn it. Coach is working with me to work in more post-ups and jump shots. But it's been tough so far.
Health of mother
She's doing great. She beat the cancer. She goes back all the time for check-ups and she's doing fine. She's as happy as can be.
Health of mother's effect on him
When you hear about it, but when you see them go through not being able to walk, can't eat, throwing up, all their hair being gone, it's more traumatizing. She was really, really strong.
That's one of my major reasons for wanting to be an All-Star. That was one of her dreams. She beat cancer, faced it head on, didn't run from it. I owed it to her.
Closest friend on the team
I'm kind of to myself all the time but probably Wes. Me and Wes go back some years now.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter