Although various reports indicated that Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers did well in their meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge, recent comments from Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times suggest otherwise.
According to Bresnahan, Aldridge “didn’t quite get answers from Kobe he was seeking.” Most people in the NBA community now believe that the Lakers are out of the running for Aldridge, a devastating blow for Los Angeles.
More LMA: He and Kobe didn’t quite gel. It’s a little vague, but Aldridge apparently didn’t quite get answers from Kobe he was seeking.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) July 1, 2015
Bryant was said to liken Aldridge to former teammate Pau Gasol. Aldridge almost certainly took this as a low blow, as Aldridge has been the go-to-guy on the Portland Trail Blazers for several seasons now. In his playoff career, Aldridge has averaged 22.1 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game, numbers that do not equate Aldridge as a mere running mate to an aging Bryant. Furthermore, Bryant is now 36 years old and has only played in 41 games in the past two seasons. Because of this, Aldridge had to be a bit frustrated that Bryant was unwilling to admit that he would have to take a backseat if Aldridge came aboard.
The Lakers failed to focus on their basketball plans, which is not surprising considering the state of their roster.
In the end, this is awful news for the Lakers, a team that had enough cap space to land a big-name free agent this summer. Now, the team will likely target Greg Monroe, but even he seems like a long shot at this point. With Aldridge passing on the Lakers, their rebuilding process will be delayed another few years, an unfortunate sign for an impatient fanbase.