LaMarcus Aldridge announced his abrupt retirement from the NBA in April because of an irregular heartbeat.
The news came as a shock for a couple of reasons. One, it was just so sudden. And two – Aldridge had quietly been one of the most reliable players of his generation for a long time. To see him taken out of the game so unexpectedly was stunning.
The 35-year-old’s forced retirement understandably led to some introspection.
In a recent conversation with Shams Charania of The Athletic, Aldridge acknowledged that he had one big career regret.
“The only thing I look back on is I wish I would have worked at it better to have a relationship with Dame [Lillard],” Aldridge said.
“I feel like we both had our circles talking to us. Maybe that helped stifle our relationship, but we definitely have gotten a better relationship since then. But I think just trying to get a better relationship with him.”
Part of the issue, as far as Aldridge is concerned, was both men striving to be the Blazers’ best player.
“I just feel like I wish Dame and I would’ve talked more and tried to develop a better relationship,” Aldridge continued.
“Part of it was he was young, trying to find his way, and I had worked so hard to get to this spot I was at. I wish I would have worked harder … the only regret I have is I wish I would have worked harder to have a relationship with Dame.”
Lillard is currently in the midst of having some issues in Portland.
Considering Lillard's issues with the Blazers, it’s hard not to wonder how things might’ve turned out differently had he and Aldridge been able to get on the same page and build out something special with the Blazers.