Pop says it was the first time a player had ever asked him to be traded.
— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) January 12, 2018
Per The Express-News:
“He said, ‘I want to be traded,'” Popovich said. “And I said, ‘Whoa, nobody has ever said that to me before.’ He said, ‘I’m not enjoying this. I’m not confident. I’m not sure you want me here. I want to be traded.'”
The demand led to some frank but fruitful conversations between the two that laid the foundation for the fine season Aldridge is enjoying.
“I was very candid with him,” Popovich said. “I told him I would be happy to trade him. You get me a talent like Kevin Durant and I will drive you to the airport. I will pack your bags and I will drive you there,’ and he laughed. And I said, ‘Short of that I am your best buddy, and you are here for another year and you ain’t going nowhere because for you talent-wise, we are not going to get what we want, so let’s figure this thing out. And we did.”