Relaxed Aldridge lets it sink in, with mom, but not Bonzi
HOUSTON LaMarcus Aldridge was so relaxed and cooperative and at peace with the world during Monday's media availability at the Toyota Center, he ran out of reporters to ask questions.
We wound up chatting for a moment on the sidelines before the Trail Blazers' light workout after their 122-120 overtime win over Houston in Sunday night's opener of the NBA first-round playoff series.
Life is good when you've just gone for a franchise playoff-record 46 points to go with 18 rebounds and led your team to a monumental victory.
Only three players since 1986 have put up 46 points and 18 rebounds in a playoff game Hakeem Olajuwon, Dwight Howard and Aldridge.
Only one other player has collected 40-plus points and 15-plus rebounds in a playoff road opener -- the great Wilt Chamberlain (42 and 19 vs. Boston in 1960).
Aldridge and point guard Damian Lillard (31 points) became the first teammates to score 45 and 30 points in the same playoff game since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen did it for Chicago in 1992.
That's pretty exclusive company, and Aldridge admitted he allowed himself a few moments of self-indulgence in the wee hours Monday after Sunday's three-hour, 21-minute marathon.
LaMarcus' mother, Georgia, who lives in Dallas, was at the game. She'll be at all the games during the playoffs, he said. After all, she is retired now, at LaMarcus' insistence.
"She works for me, doing nothing," he loves to say.
As for watching her son play basketball, "She loves it, and I love having her here," he said. "She's my No. 1 supporter, and she enjoys the moment being here. I'd have felt so bad if she wasn't here for that game last night.
"It's over with now, but (Sunday) night, I had my moment with my mom. She was excited about it. I don't think it has really hit me yet. I'm so locked in on the task at hand. my mom was asking me why I wasn't jumping for joy. I'm just locked in. I've been (to the playoffs). Winning is the most important thing right now."
After his record-setting performance, Aldridge said he received more than 20 text messages and a number of missed calls from family and friends.
Nothing, though, from Bonzi Wells, whose previous franchise record of 45 points is now off the books.
"I know Bonzi," Aldridge said with a grin, "but he doesn't have my phone number."