Trail Blazers’ Aldridge Is No Optimist

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — If you’re looking for a mood-booster this week now that the NBA lockout is into its mid-50s in terms of days, LaMarcus Aldridge is probably not the man you need to listen to.

The Portland Trail Blazers star didn’t mince his words when asked about his feelings on the subject. In fact, his blunt response is another sign that things will probably get a little uglier before they get better as the lockout nears the conclusion of its second month.

When asked if he sees even a flicker of light at the end of the lockout tunnel, Aldridge told the Oregonian‘s Joe Freeman that he did not:

“No,” Aldridge said, when asked if there was reason for optimism. “Both sides are pretty (far) off right now. So it’s going to be a while.”

Aldridge, who is the Blazers’ player representative in the NBA Player’s Union, said he does not expect the season to start on time but does believe there will be a season eventually. That said, he is prepared to sit out all of 2011-12 if necessary.

“If that’s what it takes to get a fair deal done, then yes,” Aldridge said.

Aldridge has become so pessimistic he’s joined the growing list of NBA players who are considering playing overseas during the lockout. He refused to go into great detail about what international leagues he’s investigating or what country he would like to play in, but Aldridge said if the lockout drags on he will explore his options.

“I’ve thought about it; it’s a possibility,” Aldridge said. “My agency is looking into it.”

The NBPA is conducting regional meetings this week, in New York (today) and Chicago (Thursday), so there is a chance we will hear more from some of Aldridge’s peers in the next 48 hours.

We’re hoping someone has a more positive outlook on things than Aldridge does, but we’re not counting on it.

Patience, my friends, is the most important virtue at this time.

29 Comments

  1. Professional Athletes David says:

    It is a fact that players on the NBA have a lot of money that they do their very best to be able to have a fat paycheck. While they need to perform well to be able to have money it is also important for them to be concern with their health.

  2. Ismael says:

    Lacedogg, actually I’m humble enough that if I was an NBA player and my salary got cut in half I wouldn’t fight about it as making that amount of money would still make a comfortable lifestyle. When it affects my wife and kids is when I would fight.
    On a separate note I would love a league where the owners are all on equal ground financially. Don’t we as fans look forward to seeing the big games like Lakers vs. Celts vs. Heat, etc. We don’t care to watch the Lakers beat the Wizards, Kings, Cavs by 20 points. Sure sometimes there’s upsets, but I’d rather see a battle day in and day out…they provide entertainment and watching two uncomparable teams is not entertainment. Imagine what the Spurs could do with more money, now that’s sexy!

  3. Mactrain says:

    Getting tired of the whole entire scenario. Just get on with it already. Both sides!!

  4. MattA says:

    I keep hearing people say there is no buiness model that guarantees profitability so why do the owners want one.

    Logically there is a contradiction here which I will ignore.

    They want a buiness model that does not guanantee a loss and gives them a chance for a profit.

    This is why a lockout, for as many seasons as it takes, is a no brainer for them.

    • Knuckleninja says:

      exactly, what most people don’t realise is that even though there is no such thing as a guaranteed profit in business, you can still position yourself in a better position to earn profit.. Also how can you justify someone who invests nothing tangible into a business taking a larger cut of the profits than an owner who foots 100% of the bill…

  5. Ali Yusuf says:

    at the end of the day no one is forcing the players to get paid millions its the dumb owners who offer lucrative contracts to players who either haven’t proven themselves or are past their prime. but i say that’s not the players fault its the owners who offer those ridiculous contracts. if i were an owner i wouldn’t offer Rashard Lewis $21 million a year even at his prime, i would like to speak to the fool who did and in all honesty its idiots like him who caused this lockout and they are the ones who should stop instead of taking out on the players.

    i don’t care if u think NBA players get paid too much simply because that’s not the argument. the argument is mainly that players get paid too much and don’t perform to the standard of their salary e.g Rashard Lewis, Gilbert Arenas, Luke Walton etc. at the end of the day i agree they don’t deserve what they are getting in retrospect to the money that is available and in comparison to other players. if u tell me there is no money to pay the top superstars up to 20-30 mill a year as long as you pay the others in comparison to their performances to the top players then you either don’t now anything about the amount of people who watch basketball or you’re just a liar. the amount of money stated to be lost by teams i find hard to believe due to the inflation that occurred in the US this year in retrospect if that is taken into account then teams haven’t lost money at all except for low attendance/ low popularity teams such as Sacramento and Minnesota.

    Honestly at the end of the day the paychecks are signed by NBA FANS and the amount of money was raised due to the FANS wanting to watch the players so the players are definitely entitled to most of it.

    Finally at the end of the day the fact is the fans want to watch the games so i suggest do whatever you have to do instead of meeting a couple times a week meet daily and for longer amounts of time because every game missed is a game that could have been great.

  6. vINCENT says:

    NBA players should be payed according to their performance.

    • Stylezcontagious says:

      Vincent- Players are kind of paid by their performance, but they are on contracts so sometimes it doesnt work out for the duration of the contract. Thats really the owners risk that they were aware of at the signing of the contract.

  7. mdeez says:

    People please realize this “game” that players play is also there livlihood. It’s easy to simply say, hey you guys make enough so take a paycut.. But this is whats the all time greats worked for and shouldn’t be taken lightly. NBA playyers need to continue to standup for themselves…The owners will make money back with this model but over the course of 10 years they’ll get filthy rich. No one thinks about that huh? When was the last time any of you went to the game to look at Mark Cuban or DR. Buss? You go to be entertained by the players..

  8. Alfred Keefer says:

    I can’t believe players understand today’s economic unstable world. If a player under performs he still gets paid in full. If a team underperformed, the Owners are the ones that still has to pay the bills. I like the hard cap. And, I don’t really feel sorry for anyone who is making an average of 4 million a year for playing a game most of us play for enjoyment. I really believe if we don’t control the costs and even the playing field for every team, we will start loosing teams from smaller markets. I’m not interested in watching a smaller league that’s dominated by Dallas, LA, Boston, Miami,Spurs and Orlando.

    • Jake says:

      Ha ha, San Antonio and Orlando are smaller markets, and an even playing field is partially overrated in my opinion. What about an “even” playing field in college basketball and football? If an even playing field is so desirable, why don’t we make sure that Alabama, Texas, Ohio State etc. have the same amount of money for football scholarships as Eastern Oregon University, Weber State, and Harvard (do they even have a football team by they way?) hmmm? Plus, where would the NBA be without dominant teams and dynasties. What would it have been like if the Celtics wouldn’t have been able to resign Larry Bird due to a hard cap? What would it have been like if Jordan’s Bulls had trudged through several consecutive years of 45-50 win seasons and second round playoff exits due to the fact that they couldn’t pay guys like Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, and other role players to fill out the roster? And finally, I don’t care how rich you are, you don’t want to have your salary cut in half. In that situtation, the fact that you make a lot of money just means you have more to lose.

      • defdun says:

        Agree 100% Jake, hard cap trying to simulate an even playing field is totally artificial and sounds like state-directed economies which never worked either. Dynasties, with dominant teams are what its about, plus the sexiness of a small market team like SAS or OKC breaking into that dominance.

        And also right that you say no one wants his salary cut in half. Thats just not acceptable (unless EVERYONE throughout agrees or has to make the same kind of sacrifice)

  9. Thats such a shame. Given the season he had last year, LaMarcus Aldridge could be set to make that jump from all star snub to superstar. I could be going a bit too far with that one but you know what I mean!!

  10. CMW says:

    with the NBA lockout going on it make it hard for guys who regularly have jobs to play overseas. i don’t believe that fare, because most team overseas will take a NBA player just to make money in ticket sales.I wish that both side can come to some form of agreement soon so the market can go back to normal. I am a player that play overseas and it is so hard now to get jobs because of the NBA lockout.

  11. neenja says:

    On average, who makes the most in the NBA? Kobe Bryant? Lebron James? No, the owners do. The owners bring in a ridiculous amount of money, and have the choices between throwing a bigger contract at a player or spending it wisely and seeing what happens. The owners create the contracts, and they are just as entitled to pay them as the players are to play for them. I don’t agree with owners trying to cut the wages they have agreed to, nor do I agree with players sitting out for a bigger contract. An agreement is an agreement, and these people need to learn this.

    I just hope that the NBA learns this where the NFL didn’t… throwing the biggest contracts ever seen in the history of the league this off-season. Highest paid WR in history making $120 Million over 8 years after arguing for months about the players making too much, absolutely asinine. Write the contracts that you’re able to honor and stop complaining.

  12. Gman says:

    Nobody forced the owners to pay so much.. hard cap would be fine, but the proposed amount is not enough.

    @Rapsfan, other than Miami, and boston all the other teams built their teams over years to get good. Other teams should scout better.

  13. JJ says:

    This whole lock out thing is ridiculous in my personal opinion and has tainted my view on the NBA…. the NBA has not been as fun or competitive since the days of Ewing and Barkley and such… you have all these brats wanting to get overpaid because they can put a ball in the basket…. and who can blame them?? I know I would if I could.

    This thing is our own fault. We want to see these players day in day out. The owners try to play in on that demand and the players know the owners want them because the fans want them. The whole system is corrupt…

    What about if we start boycotting the NBA?? See how fast a deal gets made then….

  14. JCPortugal says:

    This whole affair is totally unbelievable! Owners and players make millions, only thanks to millions of fans all over the world, many of them (especially people outside the US) who never even had the chance to watch a game live, nor will they afford to ever watch one, except on their TV sets. These fans, watch games ( live or on TV) buy merchandise, idolize the players, and make NBA what it is today. No fans, no NBA, no MONEY!
    Please players and owners, stop this nonsense! Drag this charade too long and you might wake up one day and find that your faithful league of followers have moved to watch other Basketball leagues ( who are getting stronger and more interesting every year), or any other major sport.
    There is an enormous offer out there in terms of sports and entertainment; more then we can cope with the free time we all manage to get out of our business, social or student lives.
    What players and owners are doing is an insult to fans that even if bunched in groups of 1000’s don’t make in a lifetime what players and owners make in a month.
    GET REAL. Sign an agreement of sorts and get on with it!

  15. aj says:

    The ” negotiations ” are not a negotiation in any manner. The League, the owners are saying, ” take this or else “.

    There’s no logical reason a 50/50 deal can’t be cut, nor is there any legal or any other reason that the owners can’t share revenue between themselves. They are using the current anti Union/Anti Labor climate in the country to force the players into a corner. It has tainted my view on the league completely, well that and the Commissioner earning more than any current player.

    No business model in the world guarantees profitability, yet that’s what the owners are seeking. It has unfair business practices written all over it.

    No doubt many of the players are overpaid, but the owners are the ones who made this climate by bidding too high for marginal players, now it seems as if they don’t want to live by the rules that they themselves have written. Imagine trying to play a game where the rules change every timeout. Personally, I don’t blame the players. You have 3-5 years and you’re out of the league usually, rarely do players last 10-20 years. They have every right to maximize their earning potential within the average 5 year window that they have, if that considering Rookie salaries are structured. Under the current system, players have one free agency period , then it’s usually out of the league or on the bench as the 12th man.

    • Lacedogg says:

      I agree, but when it comes down to it, who wins? The one who needs the money or the one who writes the paycheck. The lockout has nothing to do with being morally right or wrong, just power. If most owners don’t profit, then obviously something will be done about it. Who wants to be in a business that is more likely to not be profitable? Players can fight all they want, but they will be giving up something before the lockout is over.

  16. Nosleeptillbrooklyn says:

    Does anyone know how many times both sides have met since the start of the lockout ?

  17. R4 says:

    Even if majority of players want to waste a year. Majority fans don’t agree with the players. We pay your bills and we deserve a balance NBA with a Hard cap, deal with it. You can go euro and play but if you get injury that is your lost. Players make to much money now a days and they really don’t deserve it. Low the cost to go to the game and lower the players salary. LaMarcus is a good player but without your fans you don’t exist at all. Please remember this when your talking about CBA.

    • defdun says:

      C’mon R4 – players take what they are offered and no one forced the owners to pay millions of $ to most above-average players. the salary hype was created by the owners and now they’re blaming the players for that because their business model doesn’t work out?!

      Get realistic owners! Stop overpaying players and all will be fine with your profit/loss columns. Why is it working in some small market teams like OKC? I don’t want a hardcap regulated league where everyone has a chance to win. BS, fans want to see franchises taking risks, which implies that there will be failures and others will succeed…

      • qucee says:

        a big “amen” to you defdun. that’s the reality, teams negociated the players contracts. the players just sign the best offer. everyone would do that.

      • rapsfan says:

        Come on defdun. I’m pretty sure you dont speak for all fans when you say they want to see franchises taking risks, you speak for yourself. The NBA, IN MY OPINION, would be a lot more interesting to watch if you couldn’t pick the team that was gonna win the championship from a list of 5 to 6 teams. I love watching teams like dallas, LA, Boston, Miami,Spurs and orlando but it would be nice to see other teams in the finals for a change.

      • Lacedogg says:

        See the issue is…the owners write the paychecks. They don’t HAVE to own these teams. They were millionaires/billionaires before they even stepped into the basketball business. So, if they are losing money, and the players don’t want to give anything up, a lockout actually sounds appealing. I don’t care how rich you are, who wants to experience business loses year after year. The NBA makes players rich, and continues to make them richer. Eventually, the players will be the ones to compromise, because they need the NBA in order to make money. Its funny how players are trying to get attention by playing oversees and working at Home Depot (Delonte West). The owners could care less. This lockout is no different than California state worker budget cuts: California says “take a pay cut”. State workers say “no.” California lays off thousands of workers. It doesn’t matter who’s morally right or wrong here, its all about who dishes out the cash.

      • Ismael says:

        I read an article of how mid-level players like Lamar Odom’s salary would drop from somwhere around $8 mil to a lil over $2 mil…well boohoo….I heard Antonio Daniels on my local news station say how would you feel if someone took 50% of your salary…if I went from making $20/hr to $10/hr then I’d be upset and barely able to live, but when you’re going from $10 mil to $5 mil I’m sorry I don’t feel sorry for you and it hardly doesn’t compare…even if a $1 million dollar player goes down to $500,000 big deal…you still make more than the majority of America and the WORLD for that matter…and you don’t even have a college degree, you get to do what you love every day, be with your friends every day and probably fraternize with all sorts of women. NO sports player should make more than doctors who save lives! You shouldn’t get paid that much just because you’re born with athleticism. I’m sorry you may have to live in a 5,000 sq ft home…I’m sorry you’ll have to trade your Ferrari for a Corvette. Get your heads out of the clouds guys and come to reality…appreciate what you have and realize you don’t deserve it and get back to playing basketball you spoiled brats. I thought this game was about love, not money.

      • Lacedogg says:

        Ismael…boohoo is right! Someone in a 3rd world country thinks the same about you! Everything is relative. No one will accept a 50% cut in pay without a fight. Too bad players can’t do much about it though.

      • R4 says:

        Here a solution. Let’s just contract teams to bring balance back to the NBA. But you know that means 48 players out 450 will lose there job if we contract teams. Owners should bring that too the table because like in american rich players are minority in the nba and if the union had to go for a vote. I bet you some veteran and bench players will speak up instead of all these superstars. People fail to understand that sob story the players are trying to tell people is wack, Becaue where I work they give 50k. give me 2 million to sit on the bench for 2/3 of a year, where do I sign. Players are way over paid and Owner are charging us an arm and leg to watch. Reason why stadium are half full now a days, is simple, HDTV. It’s cheaper to watch a game at home with your own food and beer. Going to a stadium doesn’t hold the same perks no more. Why do you guys think all nba teams are trying to get tv contracts. People rather go to a bar or just stay home to watch.

        NBA has a problem and only way to solve it is through balancing out the NBA period. No balance in NBA casual fans will just watch something else. Hardcore fans will stay watching but there a different between NBA hardcore fan to NFL or Soccer Hardcore fan they wear there shirt to work everyday and spend their entire life on collecting foolishness to show their loyalty.