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'I'm definitely excited for Patty' | LaMarcus Aldridge excited to return to San Antonio

The former Spurs make their first visit back to San Antonio.

SAN ANTONIO — When the Spurs host the Nets on Friday night, it will mark the first time that both former Spurs LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills come back to San Antonio albeit as the opposition.

And for Aldridge, he is most excited for Mills and the warm reception he will receive.

"Definitely Patty," Aldridge said. "The (2014) championship. He was there for a long time. He was definitely a big part of that championship run."

You can expect fans in attendance to give Mills a standing ovation and the Spurs giving him and Aldridge a touching tribute video.

In fact, Dejounte Murray is urging all fans to shower Mills with appreciation.

“It better be loud,” Murray said. “San Antonio better come out, show out, and show their appreciation for him.”

Credit: Photo by Antonio Morano bit.ly/XR79FT / Special to KENS5.com
Veteran Spurs guard Patty Mills was averaging 11.7 points and 23 minutes before the NBA suspended the season March 11 because of the coronavirus.

Mills played with the Spurs from 2012-21 before signing with the Nets in the 2021 offseason.

His energy, fan interaction, community outreach and his sideline towel-waving won over fans who were heartbroken when he ended his time with the Spurs.

He was the last player from the team's dynasty era but with the Spurs in a rebuild, Mills did not factor into the long-term plans as the team opted to give their young players time to develop.

"I'm definitely excited for Patty to go back. He deserves it," Aldridge said.

RELATED: Five things to watch: Spurs vs. Nets

Aldridge will also be making his first trip back to San Antonio.

He played with the Spurs from 2015 to 2021. He was the team's first big free-agent signing and helped guide the Spurs to multiple playoff appearances. He also became a three-time All-Star as a Spur.

He ended his time in San Antonio after being bought out in March 2021 where he'd eventually sign with the Nets.

"I'm looking forward to going back," Aldridge said. "I had a great five years there. I learned a lot. I embraced the culture. It fit my personality."

Mills is having a solid season with the Nets averaging 13.4 points per game and shooting 42% from the three-point line.

Aldridge is posting 13.7 points per game and shooting 57% from the field.

The Nets and Spurs have played once in Brooklyn where the Nets got the overtime win. 

It also allowed the Spurs and the pair of former players their chance to greet one another once again, and exchange embraces.

That'll likely happen again Friday night but now it will be the Spurs fans who will be eager to greet both former players to thank them for what they did on the court and in the community for the city.

"I'm definitely looking forward to going back and seeing everyone and just having fun," Aldridge said.

Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursKENS5

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