An Open Letter To LaMarcus Aldridge


The past week has been a heart wrenching experience as a Portland Trail Blazers fan. I have sat back and watched as four of our starters — from a division championship team, no less — have walked out the door via trade or free agency. The latest gut punch was LaMarcus Aldridge’s decision to join the San Antonio Spurs on Independence Day.

Hours after making his decision known to the public, Aldridge sent an open letter to the Portland fans through John Canzano’s email inbox:

"Dear Rip City, Thank you!Those two words on a page don’t begin to express the gratitude I have for the opportunity the entire Trail Blazers organization, my teammates, the media, and you fans gave me. The past nine years have been a blessing, and I will take all of the valuable memories with me as I head back home.As I’m sure you can respect, my decision was a very personal one but not one I took lightly. Although I will be wearing a different uniform the next time I come back to Portland, please know that I will always hold my time in a Blazers uniform near and dear to my heart.Your friend, LA"

In order to gain some closure on this entire Aldridge debacle, I felt compelled to write an open letter to Aldridge myself. I am ready to turn the page and begin a new chapter of Rip City basketball, but not before I acknowledge our former franchise player.

"Dear LaMarcus,I have been a Portland Trail Blazers fan for over 15 years and I want to sincerely thank you for the good memories that you have provided me over the years. I remember when the team was a complete mess following the “Jail Blazers” era, and relocation became a real possibility. We were a team in transition, much like now, and you helped save our team. You came up as a sidekick for Brandon Roy, and you guys made the Rose Garden fun again. It’s really unfortunate the Greg Oden experiment was such a failure, and it was devastating to find out that Roy’s knees were going to force him to retire. However, we lucked out by having you on our roster, and I’m glad you were able to take the baton and run with it. I liked to call you “The Foundation” – you are something that any general manager could build off of. You’re a consistent double-double threat, as well as the best mid-range shooter in the game. You were the greatest Trail Blazer that I ever watched consistently. I was too young to witness Clyde “The Glide” Drexler do his thing at the Memorial Coliseum. Rasheed Wallace had all the talent in the world, but he was too unselfish and he didn’t take control of games the way you do. Roy was supposed to be that guy, but we all know about the brittle knees. You were the greatest I’ve seen, LaMarcus. It is a shame that you won’t be able to accomplish your goal of becoming the best Trail Blazer ever, statistically speaking. At your current pace, you needed only four seasons to pass Clyde for first in scoring. You could have smashed that record, and a number of others. Once again, thank you for the memories. I can’t blame you for wanting to go home. I know your main focus is a championship – I just wish you could have gotten it done in Portland. I wish the best for you in the future, but will not cheer for you when you play my Blazers. Maybe one day you can come back and finish what you started. Until then, if you’re not with us, you’re against us. Best regards and good luck.Your fan, Chris Kirby"

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