Drew Eubanks showed up at his first basketball practice at a Portland, Ore., area high school figuring all he had to do to be successful was emulate then-Trail Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge.
“When I first started playing basketball and didn’t know the rules or anything about it, I used to wear a long sleeve (on my forearm) and pretend I was LA and take fadeaways along the baseline,” Eubanks recalled. “I wanted my coach to let me do that so bad. He wasn’t buying it.”
Years later, Eubanks wound up on the same team as Aldridge when the Spurs signed him in 2018 to a two-way contract as an undrafted rookie out of Oregon State.
The prospect of meeting Aldridge and the Spurs’ other star players left Eubanks shaking in his sneakers.
“They had just traded for DeMar (DeRozan), a huge star,” Eubanks said, “and I’m thinking, ‘This is LaMarcus Aldridge. I’ve watched him his whole basketball career in Portland.’ And (they had) Patty (Mills). You go down the line. I knew all those guys from being a fan. I’m thinking, ‘Dang, these guys are All-Stars. They might be (jerks). They might be the snobby athletes you hear about.’
“I couldn’t have been more wrong.”
Eubanks was thrilled Friday to welcome Aldridge and Mills back to the AT&T Center as members of the Brooklyn Nets.
To Eubanks’ relief, Aldridge took him under his wing three years ago.
“LA, being a…