Q&A: NBA Analyst David Aldridge
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MR: Just being able to see so many stars down at All-Star Weekend, what does it mean to you to be part of it?
DA: It’s a big weekend for us. We’re working pretty much the whole weekend. It’s one of our signature events on Turner, and it’s a lot of work. A lot of people making a lot of sacrifices to make those of us who are on air look good. You get to do a lot of interviews and you get to see the stars and these are the best players in the league in various stages of their careers. For the fans I’m sure it’s a wonderful and exciting time.
MR: For the Timberwolves, Ricky Rubio is coming off a major injury but of late has really shown signs of the flash both offensively and defensively that we saw last year. What have you seen out of Ricky coming off the injury?
DA: I think it takes time. I hope people up there are patient, because an ACL is a serious injury even though we’ve made a lot of strides in terms of treating those injuries. It’s still a major injury. It takes time get your timing back, your confidence back. You’ve got to work with new teammates, all those things. So I hope people are patient because Ricky is a very talented player and he’s going to be good for a very long time.
MR: Another guy on this Wolves roster that has raised some attention is rookie Alexey Shved. What part of his game has surprised you as he entered the league?
DA: A better ball handler and a better playmaker than I thought he would be. I didn’t realize he had that ability to be a lead guard. And he showed that in various stages this season and has been a very, very good player for them. I think the future is very bright in Minnesota. They’ve got some decisions they’ll have to make ultimately in the next year or two, but they’ve really increased their talent level. They’re a much more talented team than they have been in recent years. Obviously Rick Adelman is one of the most respected coaches in the game. And I think they have a bright, bright future.
MR: You’ve been through so many memorable events in this league. What’s your favorite All-Star memory?
DA: I’d have to say Magic in ’92 in Orlando. That was a very difficult time for a lot of people who covered Magic and got to know him a little bit and respected him and admired him. And I’m not being dramatic when I say that when the announcement came out, everybody thought Magic was going to die. It was a very sad time. So for him to come back and be invited to the All-Star team. Now people think it was all easy, but it wasn’t. There were people who had some reservations. He came in and played great, and he finished the game as dramatically as he did and the crowd went crazy. It was an incredible time to be in that building.
MR: What is one thing fans should be excited about during an All-Star Weekend.
DA: Well, there won’t be a ton of defense played. I love to see the individual battles, whether it’s LeBron vs. Durant, maybe clear out a side and go after each other a couple times down the court. You never know, though, sometimes the last five minutes down the court when the guys get serious about guarding the other team. You see some really amazing stuff. Just have fun with it. I always like to see the new guys that are in there for the first time and showing they can play, too. That’s always a treat to see.
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