The San Antonio Spurs storm into the Bay Area on Oct. 25 to play the Golden State Warriors on the opening night of the 2016-2017 NBA regular season.
The matchup features the two teams that finished No .1 and No. 2 in the Western Conference last season. The uncertain future of a former Longhorn great only adds to the game’s compelling storylines.
LaMarcus Aldridge (2004-2006) of the Spurs made headlines last week after ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, appearing on CSNNE.com’s Early Edition, reported that San Antonio is exploring options to move on from the big man.
“Sources were telling me the other day that LaMarcus Aldridge may not even finish the year with the Spurs,” MacMullan said. “That experiment hasn’t quite worked out the way they hoped.”
Aldridge, however, is adamant that he is content with his role on the Spurs and went on to rebuff the report.
“I’m winning,” Aldridge said. “Of course I’m happy. That’s why I don’t buy into the rumors. I feel like I do my job here and I feel like I’ve done everything that they’ve asked. That’s why I haven’t bought into the rumors.”
With star forward Pau Gasol joining the squad via free agency, the Spurs look to have one of the most formidable frontcourts in the league. Gasol, Aldridge and All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard have combined for 12 All-Star appearances.
The matchup also marks the debut for Golden State forward Kevin Durant (2007), who made headlines this offseason for leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to join a record 73-win team.
It didn’t come without costs for the Warriors, though. The team had to move on from six former players, two of whom were starters, to secure the cap space necessary to sign Durant to a max contract. All six players were part of the 2015 championship team.
The Warriors and Spurs tip off at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday.