Aldridge praises Popovich after Spurs renewal
Fresh from signing a contract extension with the San Antonio Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge heaped praise on head coach Gregg Popovich.
Spurs forward Aldridge - a five-time NBA All-Star - penned a renewal on Monday, a deal reportedly worth $72.3million
The 32-year-old was prised away from the Portland Trail Blazers in 2015 and when asked what went into his decision to sign an extension, Aldridge - averaging 17.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.16 blocks since joining the Spurs - said: "I just went off of how I feel. I feel like Pop's been great.
"I feel like this preseason has made me feel so much more comfortable out there. I've been myself, and I feel like I'm going to help us win. I went off how I felt, and just in the moment, I did it."
There was some tension between Aldridge and the Spurs in the offseason when the team reportedly attempted to trade the big man, but he said they had "constructive" talk.
"I felt it was kind of needed, having the heart to heart where you just say how you feel. Pop has been great about the things that I've said I kind of needed or wanted. So far, it's been great," Aldridge said.
"He's Pop, so you've got to go at it a certain way," Aldridge said about a one-on-one meeting he requested with Popovich to clear the air.
"As we all know, he's a different guy. But he's very open to listening. I did feel better after. I felt his response was even better. He was like, 'You're right.' At that moment, they started to kind of talk to me about things I like to do. I'm happy to have it behind me because it puts everything that happened this summer out of the door, and I feel like I'm going to be better this year."
The Spurs will begin their regular season schedule at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.