SAN ANTONIO — LeBron James might be "The Chosen One," but for the Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge is "The One Who Chose Us."
Never before, and never since, has the organization made a splash like the former Longhorn in free agency.
Despite the cushy statistics, the three All-Star Game appearances or the leadership in the locker room – right or wrong – the big man was never the man in the Alamo City.
By some, the mild-mannered superstar is still not forgiven for his trade request a few years ago.
Aldridge was never the all-world player like Timmy, as affable as Manu or took to Pop’s coaching like Tony.
There is a feeling he was not one of us. But never forget, he chose us.
Winning is not easy.
The results were there with Aldridge, it just never materialized into a title.
He is just one of six players in franchise history to log 7,000 points and 3,000 rebounds in only five-plus years of action.
His regular season numbers are almost identical to the ones he posted in the playoffs, averaging close to 20 points and 8 boards per contest.
The man was great, one of the better talents to ever wear the silver and black. And yet, some don’t see that.
Some might never see that.
In the end, it is a choice how one views Aldridge’s departure, and choice is the definition of his legacy.
Expectations might not have reached reality, but his presence provided plenty of great memories.
As the two sides move on, it happens amicably—unlike someone else.
Aldridge gets to chase that title while the Spurs get to manage their youth.
The future is undefined for both, but the past has been cemented.
Choose to be thankful for what this man did in San Antonio on and off court and always humbly appreciate the foresight to choose us, when no superstars ever give us a shot.