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Aldridge at his Best

Two years ago my roommate signed me up for a Twitter account, after I refused to do it on my own. But, people will go wherever people are. As far as Blazers fans are concerned, there is one upside to having a Twitter account rather than Facebook. Most of them have both, but are more active on their Twitter accounts. I’m sure many of us are Facebook friends with several athletes scattered across professional sports, but do you really get a sense of who they are from their pages?

After just five minutes of browsing through the Twitter accounts of the Blazers, I saw the soft, comedic side of LaMarcus Aldridge. Thanks to Sportscenter, I’d previously been taught that athletes solely use Twitter to complain about refs, David Stern and their personal lives. However, I’ve discovered that ESPN’s top-rated program was sorely mistaken.

David Stern announced Kevin Love would replace the injured Yao Ming as the last member of the Western Conference All Stars next weekend when the entire country was sure Aldridge would receive the honor. Rather than complain about the decision as Sportscenter would highlight, Aldridge simply joked about the matter with veteran teammate, Marcus Camby. “I wasn't an allstar because my dunks went down when you got hurt because I don't get spin lobs no more. Lol.”

Fans can relate to this, as Aldridge has refurnished his game to make him a complete power forward with inside and outside abilities. Seeing Aldridge joke about the Love situation was relieving; we know he deserved the spot and so does he. But the NBA isn’t about personal achievements; it’s a team game. He mentioned in a post-game interview that it’s a bigger deal to be in the playoffs than be a stat guy on a nine-win bottom feeder team. Well, he’s right.

His Twitter stream continues with conversations between Blazers teammates and other NBA athletes who graduated from his alma mater, Texas. Aldridge’s all around positive attitude translates to his on-court play. He doesn’t complain on or off the court, and I believe this proportion would exist in many professional athletes if you were to compare their court behavior and Twitter accounts.

Often times Aldridge is smiling and laughing on the bench and during interviews, staying calm. As a team leader, his controlled comfort level will help maintain the overall team chemistry. By thanking players for personal and professional reasons publicly, they will entrust him and enjoy being around him more. Anyone who’s played sports before can tell you that you perform much better on teams filled with players you like. His comedic behavior enhances this comfort level because he will show teammates they can open up to him. “What if you were getting a massage and your face down on the table? And then the lady who is massaging you walks around by your head to do your upper back. When she is doing your upper back right by your head she farts!” Not many professional athletes have posts similar to this, but these posts characterize who Aldridge is as a person. He attributed a blend of seriousness on the court with comedic relaxation off the court, which leads younger teammates through NBA adversity.

~Jacob Rogers~

02.15.11


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