LaMarcus Aldridge, safe and in uniform (Getty Images)
We've heard about stud athletes finding a sense of inner peace and calm when they're struggling through a cold or minor injury setback. How sometimes that mental or physical fatigue turns off enough synapses (or something) and deadens the anxiety level enough to where players can focus and, sometimes, dominate. What we've never heard of is an athlete watching as an uncaring motorist wrecks his beloved Italian sports car, and then using that as focus enough to score 29 points, pull in nine rebounds and add five assists in a blowout win over a division rival.
That's what Portland Trail Blazer big man LaMarcus Aldridge pulled off on Saturday night. A car changed lanes in front of him without signaling (special circle of hell -- or just hell -- should be devoted to people that think it's OK to ever not signal for anything), and jammed right into his 2009 Ferrari (no make was reported) as he drove to that night's contest against the Denver Nuggets. Finding peace even after watching his ride go boom, Aldridge failed to signal and waltzed all over the Nuggets. Following the contest, he told the Oregonian this:
"I was really, really stressed about it. When (public address announcer Mark) Mason called my name in introductions, I prayed real quick, closed my eyes and said 'I gotta let it go,'" Aldridge said.
Twenty-nine points, nine boards and five assists is one heck of a "let it go," especially following a wreck that was (by Aldridge's account) not his fault. Credit, according to the Oregonian, also goes to Blazers director of basketball operations Nick West, who ran in to cover for Aldridge while talking to authorities as the time between the wreck and tip-off shortened.
What we now need to figure out is what LMA can buy with all that insurance money, considering he'll have quite a bit of it and that he'll probably want to keep Portland weird. Knowing about his love of speed, as a fan of Ferrari, and the green-thinking Portlandians that cheer him on, we'd probably suggest a Tesla. It looks like a Lotus, goes like stink, and its electric motor won't stink up the Portland air. Sure, you can probably only drive about 40 miles before that motor peters out, but at least you won't raise the ire of jerk Toyota drivers.
- LaMarcus Aldridge