Right before the NBA All-Star Game, former Portland Trail Blazers teammates Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge opened up about how they fixed their relationship after the latter left for the San Antonio Spurs. As Lillard is set to pass Aldridge for No. 2 on Portland’s all-time scoring list, Jason Quick of the Athletic (subscription required) caught up with the two to talk about their past, present and possible future.
Aldridge, while reflecting on the conversation with Lillard that helped them move forward, made a slight hint in the piece about a possible return to Portland, one that he has actually talked to Lillard about:
If that conversation had happened before Aldridge’s free agency?
“You never know,” Aldridge said. “But of course, if we had a better relationship, it changes the whole outlook of how it went. It’s sad that not talking like we do now could have changed history. But everything happens for a reason. He has flourished in that role, and I keep telling him I’m going to come back and finish there. That’s something him and I have talked about — playing together again.”
Quick goes on to detail how the two spent a lot of time together at All-Star Weekend:
“We were more connected than anybody else at All-Star weekend,” Lillard said. “Over the course of that weekend, we interacted on a genuine level. It was cool for us.”
It was there in Charlotte, amid a rekindling of friendship, where talk of reuniting resurfaced.
“Once we aired it out and realized it we never had an issue, it made it easy for us to reconnect,” Aldridge said. “It felt effortless to be around each other, so we were talking in locker room, joking about us in the pick-and-roll, and doing it again one day.”
There are many more insightful tidbits from Quick on the two’s relationship, which you can read here (subscription to the Athletic required).