Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge participated in a conference call with reporters to discuss his selection to the 2013 NBA All-Star Game, his second consecutive selection.
Here's an abbreviated and partial transcript. The call quality wasn't great on my end so the quotes are very close but not guaranteed to be word-for-word.
How does it feel?
It feels good. I'm thankful to my teammates and coaches. ... I was surprised.
Will a lot of people ask you for tickets because Dallas (his hometown) is close to Houston (site of the All-Star Game)?
That was one of my biggest fears, if I did make it, how many people would reach out for tickets.
What have you improved this year?
Being more of a leader on and off the court. Being a better passer on the court. Not letting us get too high with wins or too low with losses.
Some people say that your game is under-appreciated. Do you feel that way?
I thank them for saying that but I don't get into all of that.
Do you think you will get more playing time this year?
I think I will. ... I'm looking forward to getting more time this year.
What does it mean to get selected for the second time?
It's a big honor. It means a lot to me. Hopefully I can be a three and four time All-Star.
Do you think they will play you at center given the positional make-up of the roster?
It's an All-Star Game so that's the only time I'm OK with playing center. Normally I don't like that center tag. It's All-Star game so it's OK as long as I'm having fun.
Best memories from 2012 All-Star Game?
Being on the court and looking up at my mom while warming up for the game and seeing how happy she was. Another one was being in a circle with [Steve] Nash, Kobe [Bryant], Blake Griffin. Trading jokes. That's what those games are about. Rubbing elbows of guys with different teams.
Do you think there were snubs this year?
It's always going to be someone that should have made it, that doesn't make it. I didn't make it in previous years. ... There's always going to be guys who deserve it who don't get in.
Should Damian Lillard have been an All-Star?
He's my teammate so I definitely feel like he should have been an All-Star. I think it will give him more motivation to come back next year and be even better.
Excited to play with Tim Duncan?
I am. Tim is one of the all-time greats. Somebody I've modeled my game after, watched film of for years and years. To be around him is going to be pretty big for me.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter