The NBA dynasty that pitches star free agents together, stays together.
Sometimes they even sign that superstar free agent in question.
Depending on the person you talk to, and the time of today, and what color socks you’re wearing, LaMarcus Aldridge is a lock to join the San Antonio Spurs. Others claim that the Los Angeles Lakers are onset favorites, or that the Dallas Mavericks hold serious curb appeal, or that the Houston Rockets will scrap their way into contention (they won’t). But the rest of us are resigned to the fact that if Aldridge is serious about winning and prolonging his career, he’ll leave Portland for San Antonio.
Just to be sure, though, the Spurs aren’t taking any chances. They’re sending Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich to sell Aldridge on signing in San Antonio.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports has the details on this mafia-style shakedown:
Tim Duncan will join Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich as part of the San Antonio Spurs’ contingent when they meet with Portland Trail Blazers free agent LaMarcus Aldridge on Wednesday morning in Los Angeles, a source told Yahoo Sports.
Duncan’s decision to join the group is another indication of his willingness to play at least one more season. He and Manu Ginobili are among several free agents the Spurs have this summer. Duncan and Ginobili have yet to formally announce their plans.
Duncan assisted in the courtship of Jason Kidd when Kidd visited San Antonio as a free agent in 2003, but this is believed to be the first y get ttime he has traveled as part of a recruiting pitch. Parker will be flying to Los Angeles from China, where has been on a promotional tour.
Man, to be a fly on that wall, or at least some human within earshot of that conference call. Whatever.
I can’t even imagine Duncan as a free-agent recruiter. Like, what happens?
Tim Duncan strolls into the room, donning a wrinkled button-bown plaid shirt and baggy JNCO jeans with oversized pockets he bought 12 years ago at Kmart. He smells of warm milk and pimento loaf casserole. His flip phone is attached at the hip, clipped onto his fanny pack. He sits down, opposite a waiting Aldridge.
Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich don’t move. They look on, longingly, at the 18-year-old veteran gazing into Aldridge’s eyes. Duncan clears his throat yet clearly isn’t satisfied. He whips out a butterscotch candy from his fanny pack and chews it. He beckons to Pop, asking for some kiwi-lime flavored seltzer.
All the while, Aldridge is leering at Duncan, equal parts confused and intrigued. Duncan clears his throat again and finally speaks.
“LaMarcus, do you like Halo? Of course you do. Look, if you sign with us, you’ll obviously get a chance to win. But not only that, you’ll have a standing invite to my house every Tuesday night at 4 p.m. We get early-bird takeout, play Halo and watch reruns of The Good Wife. It’s, if I do say so myself, dy-no-mite.”
Sounds accurate, right?
Anyhow, don’t get too excited. Pop is muddling this spectacular mental image, per Davide Chinellato of NBA Italy:
Pop on courting free agents: "I’m not calling anyone at midnight. I’ll be in bed. And if that’s the difference, then I don’t want them" #NBA
— Davide Chinellato (@dchinellato) June 30, 2015
Dang. Come to think of it, there’s a chance Duncan will be in bed too.
Guess Aldridge will have to settle for a night on the town guzzling Bordeaux, sampling cheese and hearing about Parker’s favorite erotica novels.