LaMarcus Aldridge says he signed with Brooklyn Nets to 'fill a void,' not be an All-Star

ByMalika Andrews ESPN logo
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

NEW YORK -- After agreeing to a deal with the Brooklyn Nets over the weekend, LaMarcus Aldridge has begun to settle in and participated in the team's practice on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters for the first time since he arrived on the East Coast, Aldridge said that he is no longer interested in gunning for individual accolades, and chose the Nets because he thinks he can "fill a void."

"I'm not here to be an All-Star," Aldridge said. "That's not what I'm trying to do. I'm just trying to bring the value, try to bring the things I'm good at and trying to help this team win. I'm not worried about being an All-Star anymore."

Aldridge said he chose the Nets after agreeing to a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs because he saw a role for himself as a big man who can shoot 3s and defend.

Aldridge said the first player he heard from on the Nets roster was Kevin Durant. He also spoke with James Harden before deciding to sign with Brooklyn for the remainder of the season.

"He has the ability to make 3-pointers, so that opens the floor up," Nets coach Steve Nash said. "He understands that this is a different role and a different team. I want him to find that natural balance between the way he has traditionally played and the way we play."

Aldridge is joining an already star-studded team that also features Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin andDeAndre Jordan, among others.

Nash said Aldridge needs to participate in a few practices before he debuts for Brooklyn in a game, but there is a chance the veteran center plays later in the week.

Aldridge has already been ruled out for Wednesday's game against the Houston Rockets.

Recently, Jordan has been starting the majority of the Nets' games at center. Occasionally, when the Nets start a smaller lineup against quicker, smaller teams -- or when Brooklyn's depth has been depleted by injuries -- Jeff Green or Bruce Brown have started.

Aldridge said he's hopeful he will get the opportunity to start, which Nash said he will have the chance to work for.

"I mean, if you could start, you're always going to start," Aldridge said. "I think anyone that's competitive will say, yeah, they want that and they're going to fight for that, so I'm definitely trying to do my job and hopefully I get it."

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