LaMarcus Aldridge cleared the air with Gregg Popovich after an offseason in which the San Antonio Spurs attempted to trade him. Aldridge also was not used in the Spurs' system as he envisioned.
"It was me kind of being blunt about it, and being kind of forward," Aldridge recently told ESPN. "He was open to it. I kind of just spilled my heart about how I felt about how things were, and how things had been going.
"I think he was kind of caught off guard. I don't think he really had noticed [that I was unhappy]. But once I said it, he was great about listening, and it was good from there. I felt like I wasn't really fitting into the system as best I could. I wasn't really helping like I felt I could."
Popovich conceded Aldridge's concerns had merit.
"This is a guy who played for nine years, I believe, before he came here," Popovich said, "and it takes time to get used to a program that is not just new. But when you have nine years under your belt, doing something different, his concerns are totally legitimate.
"We have talked about what we can do to make him more comfortable, and to make our team better. But having said that, I think we are mostly talking about offense. Defense, he was fantastic for us. Now, we have got to help him a little bit more so that he is comfortable in his own space offensively, and I haven't done a very good job of that."
Aldridge attempted to shrug off trade rumors, saying "if it happened, it happened, but it didn't."
"It's a part of the NBA," Aldridge added. "Guys move around and guys go from team to team at times. It happens. I'm used to it. I know I can only control what I do, and that's what I did. I worked hard all summer and got better. Maybe in my younger days in Portland, I might have taken it personal. Now, I'm older and I'm used to the game. I know it's a business. I don't take it personal anymore."