NBA: Aldridge plays in obscurity in the Pacific NorthwestBy David A.
LaMarcus Aldridge an All Star? First of all who is he and where does he play? Most likely those questions come to mind when someone is asked about the Portland Trailblazers’ forward.
The answers are simply, the forward is averaging over 20 points per game and a decent 8 rebounds per game for the past three consecutive seasons. There is no one else in the entire NBA including the likes of Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard or LeBron James that can make that claim.
Therefore, how come this player is floating around in obscurity whole other players like James, Howard and Griffin are all in the limelight.
The biggest and most likely reason is location. Playing in the Pacific Northwest in a very small media market makes Aldridge play in obscurity, while players less talented get more media attention in larger metropolitan areas.
Can you remember where Chris Bosh played before he became a household name in Miami, probably not, because Toronto is not that big of a media market? Other talented players like Zach Randolph and David West play in Memphis and Indiana respectively and are underrated as well.
Aldridge is a great player, not flashy but his consistent numbers for scoring and rebounding tell you how good of a player he is. His perimeter shooting is one of the best in the league and he scores consistently, not 40 one game and 10 the next.
Over the past three seasons he has scored 40 or more just twice and 30 or more just 18 times. He also scores fewer than 10 points very rarely. In the past three seasons, Aldridge has been held to less than 10 points only seven times and five of those were three seasons ago.
Aldridge’s durability is also incredible. Over the past three seasons, the Trailblazer has missed just 12 games.
In addition to playing in a small media market, Aldridge also has not played with any other star power in his career with the exception of Brandon Roy. Roy was a top shooting guard in the NBA before knee injuries took their tool and ended his career. Some, prior to his injury, claimed Roy was the league’s second best shooting guard after Kobe Bryant.
Besides Roy, Aldridge has played with players that are better than average or slightly above average.
Another logical reason Aldridge is mired in obscurity is his team has not won. This season the Trailblazers are playing just .500 basketball and last season were a lottery team. In the six seasons he has played in the NBA not including this one, Portland has only made the playoffs three times and on all three occasions they were knocked out in the first round.
The next time you are watching the NBA and the Trailblazers are playing, follow Aldridge on the court. He will surprise you will this talent, consistency and all overall excellent game.