It was about time to move on. If the Spurs hadn’t made the leap already in their minds, they were at least contemplating the idea of doing it for real, because they would have been fools not to.
A week and a half ago they were playing their best basketball of this season, and it looked an awful lot like their best basketball of last season, not only because of who was involved but also because of who wasn’t.
This wasn’t coincidental, and it wasn’t personal. Over the years LaMarcus Aldridge had been a successful signing, a productive teammate, and a good Spur. But it was getting harder to see how he fit anymore.
In fact, had this month’s rodeo road trip continued like it began, with San Antonio’s youngsters running and dunking and shimmying their way across the Eastern time zone, chances are Aldridge wouldn’t be suiting up Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.
He’d been willing to be patient with a sore hip, and the Spurs had no problem with that. Considering how well things were going, there was no need for him to rush back.
But now, with COVID-19 having interrupted their good vibes, stolen a week’s worth of conditioning, and sidelined half of the players in their rotation, the Spurs need him. And for the last player to represent the franchise at the All-Star Game, this might be one last, perfect chance.
Before it really is time…