LaMarcus Aldridge became a starter in the second half of his rookie season in with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2006-07. Since then, Aldridge hadn't come off the bench until he was no longer part of the plans with the San Antonio Spurs in 2021. Not starting has been a way of life upon his return to the Brooklyn Nets this season.
Aldridge has played as a reserve in 17 of the Nets first 18 games. The big man has played well, averaging 13.4 points per game on career-best 57.7% shooting. But Aldridge says the transition hasn't been easy.
“It’s very difficult. You’ve been one type of player or a certain type of player your whole career. It’s definitely different coming off the bench and not playing much,” Aldridge said. “So it’s been difficult. … I’m still trying to figure it out and navigate it and find my spots. And I’m just trying to find my ways to try and help out.”
After joining the Nets in 2020-21, following a buyout from the Spurs, Aldridge played in just five games. He was then forced to leave Brooklyn following discovery of a heart condition. While away from the NBA, Aldridge got treatment and was able to find a way to play. He returned to the Nets on a one-year deal this offseason.