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LaMarcus Aldridge Chat Transcript: Nov. 29, 2006

When you think of Trail Blazer rookie LaMarcus Aldridge's game you immediately think of power. He'll go toe-to-toe with the best of them for 48 minutes. But what you may not know is he also has a finesse side to his game. His turn-around jumpers, fancy footwork, and soft touch under the basket is almost a thing of art. You can almost hear the classical music playing every time he touches the ball. Speaking of classical music, I'll bet you also didn't know that this NBA lottery pick also plays the piano.

Aldridge took time out from his busy schedule to chat live with fans on November 29. Check out the complete chat transcript below:

Moderator: We're running a bit late and hope to begin shortly...thanks for your patience.

Leo Netherdlands: What's up LaMarcus, how is you shoulder going?

LaMarcus Aldridge: My shoulder is doing fine, I'm getting it back strong. It's not 100-percent yet, but it's good enough to play and I'm good to go.

Cletus (Hooverville, Mississippi): Making the transition from college to the NBA must have been drastic. What has surprised you the most about the NBA game and NBA players that stands in contrast to college ball?

LaMarcus Aldridge: How the game is not as fast as it was in college, it's a bit slower in tempo, but the guys themselves in the NBA are all much, much faster and quicker. It's a big difference. The size of the guys in the post is a big thing too.

Alen(Portland): Hey LaMarcus how does it feel to be in the starting 5 for you in your first year in the NBA? Who was the toughest opponent you had to guard so far through the season?

LaMarcus Aldridge: It was great to get into the starting five for awhile, but Joel is back so I'm back on the bench now. As far as the toughest guy so far, that would be Tim Duncan. He is so smart and knows where to go and how to get in position to score.

Chris, Kansas City: LaMarcus can you talk about your recent dunk over Tim Duncan? That was amazing! By the way, how old were you when you first dunked? I'm a big fan. God Bless. Chris

LaMarcus Aldridge: I was 12-years-old and 5-foot-11 for my first dunk. As far as the dunk over Tim Duncan, you can say that is the highlight of my pro career so far. I watched him alot on film and to be able to get one down on a player of his caliber is a great accomplishment. I hope I can do it again!

Elliot (Austin): At Texas you wore the number 23, but in Portland you wear 12. What made you choose 12?

LaMarcus Aldridge: Darius is already No. 23 here so I couldn't get it. I chose No. 12, because that was the number I played with for my first game ever. In fact, except for my two years of college, when I wore No. 23, I have always been No. 12.

Marc(badalona, Spain): Hi LaMarcus, form spain, what do you thing about your teamate Sergio Rodriguez?

LaMarcus Aldridge: Oh man, he is so fun to be around. He brings so much energy to the game. He's like a younger Steve Nash. As he gets older and more mature, he can be a combination of Jason Kidd and Steve Nash.

Justin B AF : What is your most memorable moment in college?

LaMarcus Aldridge: It would be the West Virginia game, where I only missed about three shots the entire game and it got us into the Elite Eight.

Dan, Sacramento: Hey LaMarcus! Huge fan! What did you think of Draft Night? And who's your close buddies on the team? Travis? Brandon?

LaMarcus Aldridge: Draft Night I was just excited and nervous because you never know what is going to happen until it does happen. On the team I'm close with Jarrett Jack and Brandon Roy.

Rufus, San Fran!: Do you want to play in the Rookie/Sophmore game? I think you should be there!

LaMarcus Aldridge: Yes, I would like to play in that game. Every rookie wants to play in that game. So, yes, I would like to play in the game.

Josh, Portland: Who on the team has surprised you on how good they are?

LaMarcus Aldridge: Hmmm. Let's see. I think I will have to agree with all the fans and say Brandon Roy. Lots of people thought he'd be good, but he is really showing people how good he is and can be.

Candace (Albany, OR): hey, i didnt know u played the piano that is cool. how long have you been playing. i have been playing for 10 yrs. i like it. i like the texas longhorns too. so u came from a cool place:)

LaMarcus Aldridge: I started taking piano classes last semester in school and I'm still taking classes now, so it's been about a year. I'm loving it and really enjoying the time I have to play piano.

Monmouth: Hey waz going on LaMarcus so how do u like Portland, Oregon. Do u like the snow???? Laterz.... Andy

LaMarcus Aldridge: Portland hasn't been too bad, it does rain, everyone knows that. I have no problem with it. Portland is nice, it's a quiet, family place and I enjoy it. Being from Texas, I do like the snow.

Rebecca (Portland): Who are your picks for this years All-Star game?

LaMarcus Aldridge: No. 1 I think Zach Randolph should be there, averaging 25 and 10 that warrants selection to the All-Star team. Dwight Howard is another guy who should be there.

Moderator: Click here to vote for your favorite players to attend NBA All-Star 2007 in Las Vegas.

Portland: LaMarcus! Hi! You're really cool! I wish I could knock down a turn-around jumpers as well as you! Well anyways where do you think the team needs to improve to become a more dominant force?!

LaMarcus Aldridge: We need to improve on defense and being consistent on both ends of the floor. Also we need to find the proper rotation to use and be comfortable on the court every night. If we can do those things, I think we can really improve and compete in the West.

LaMarcus Aldridge: I'd like to thank all the fans for logging on and chatting with me. I appreciate your support of me and the Blazers and we are working hard to turn things around here in Portland and give the fans the team they deserve.