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Damian Lillard joined LaMarcus Aldridge’s retirement parade by writing an appreciation post on Instagram to his former teammate.
For his first three seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard was teammates with LaMarcus Aldridge, who announced his retirement Thursday after citing health reasons.
Portland reached the playoffs in each of the final two seasons that Aldridge and Lillard played together, and there’s definitely still good chemistry between them.
On Instagram, Lillard had fond words for his former teammate and posted a series of photos along with the hashtag, #WhatCouldHaveBeen. After Aldridge left Portland for the San Antonio Spurs in 2015 and played on the Brooklyn Nets after that, both players have been vocal in recent years about the possibility of playing together again. It’s sad to think that won’t happen now that Aldridge has left the game for good.
Other past and present Blazers paid their respects to Aldridge on Twitter, including CJ McCollum, Robin Lopez and Jamal Crawford.
Lillard also appeared on ESPN’s Jalen and Jacoby and insisted that Portland should honor the 35-year-old star by retiring his number.
Blazers star @Dame_Lillard joined @JalenRose and @djacoby as the LaMarcus Aldridge retirement news broke, and immediately asked Portland to RETIRE #12 👀 pic.twitter.com/jtkPSCzdR3
— Jalen & Jacoby (@JalenandJacoby) April 15, 2021
Damian Lillard bids farewell to LaMarcus Aldridge in the most emotional way
Lillard makes a strong case for retiring Aldridge’s No. 12 in the Moda Center rafters, believing the seven-time All-Star to be one of the most instrumental players in the franchise’s history.
While Blazers fans may not have appreciated Aldridge leaving for the Spurs, he left a more than respectable legacy during his nine seasons with the team. Aldridge was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers out of Texas in 2006. He went on to become the team’s all-time leading rebounder and averaged 19.4 points and 8.4 rebounds a night while shooting 48.5 percent from the field.
In 2014, Aldridge passed Terry Porter for second on Portland’s all-time scoring list. He’s since been eclipsed by Lilllard, but their mutual respect remains. Dame is just one of many to say goodbye to Aldridge with a heavy heart.