Lakers learned their lesson from failure to sign LaMarcus Aldridge, Byron Scott says

San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge, left, drives around Denver's Kenneth Faried on Nov. 18.

San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge, left, drives around Denver’s Kenneth Faried on Nov. 18.

(Darren Abate / Associated Press)

The Lakers will be reminded on Friday, quite rudely perhaps, of their latest free-agent failure.

They’ll play against LaMarcus Aldridge for the first time since he spurned them for the San Antonio Spurs.

The Lakers’ initial sit-down with Aldridge in July was a turn-off to him, too much style and not enough basketball substance.


“I think we looked at it more as a business presentation. It wasn’t basketball, and that’s probably where we made our mistake,” Lakers Coach Byron Scott said Friday.

It will change in the future, Scott said, an important concept with the Lakers on the lookout for free agents next summer, notably Kevin Durant.

“Most of these guys want to know the basketball part of it. We’ll change that part as far as most of the meeting, 75% of it or more, will be about the basketball part and then the other part will be a little bit about the business part,” Scott said. “I think we found from a great player that he was more interested in the basketball on-the-court stuff than anything else.”

The Lakers’ pitch to Aldridge included executives from AEG and Time Warner Cable to discuss off-the-court opportunities. The team ran out of time to go in-depth on basketball analytics and requested a follow-up with Aldridge to go over that part.

A second meeting took place but Aldridge’s mind was already made up. He would sign a four-year, $80-million contract with San Antonio.

Aldridge, 30, has been only OK with the Spurs, averaging 15.4 points and 8.8 rebounds but acting deferential on offense. He is shooting 45.5%, which would be a career low if it doesn’t improve.


The Spurs are clearly the second-best team in the Western Conference and yet already several games behind Golden State.

Scott, though, was still impressed by Aldridge.

“He’s a veteran. He’s very smart. He’s a double threat,” Scott said. “He can shoot if from outside and he can post up as well.”

There’s no way the Lakers would be 3-19 if he signed with them, no?

“I have no idea,” Scott said. “It is a big what-if.”


Kobe Bryant sits to see what young Lakers can do

Lakers trip barrels on in San Antonio, against dominating Spurs

Kobe Bryant deserves to be All-Star, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says