Portland Path Blazers Media Day 2022: Highlights from the Bench Mob

September 27, 2022

Portland Path Blazers Media Day 2022 featured interviews from Portland’s massive names like Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons, but it surely additionally included appearances from featured function gamers. Veteran ahead Justise Winslow, second-year professionals Trendon Watford and Keon Johnson, Summer time League stud Jabari Walker and backup massive Drew Eubanks all spoke to the media about their roles for the upcoming season.

Danny Marang of Blazer’s Edge and 1080 the Fan tweeted some notable clips from every participant. Right here’s what they needed to say.

Winslow ‘Needs to Begin’

Whereas the gamers featured on this article are all anticipated to contribute off the bench this season, Justise Winslow is aiming his sights on the beginning lineup. Earlier within the day, Portland head coach Chauncey Billups introduced the Blazers’ small ahead place could be determined in an open competitors between Nassir Little, Josh Hart and Winslow. Winslow is probably going the most important underdog within the race, but it surely’s a job he intends to win.

All of us wish to begin all of us need raises, however on the similar time it’s a must to bear in mind you’re part of a much bigger workforce, however yeah I wish to begin.

This upcoming season will likely be Winslow’s eighth within the league. The 26-year-old is understood for his defensive versatility and toughness. These are traits he thinks would’ve meshed effectively on a few of his coach’s mid-2000s Detroit Pistons groups, which have been famend for his or her defensive stress.

I feel he (Billups) is aware of I may’ve performed on these dangerous boy groups and with him in Detroit.

Watford Able to ‘Thrive’

Final season, Trendon Watford was one of many gems found throughout Portland’s colossal tank job. Gifted with an abundance of sudden minutes, the rookie on a two-way deal performed his approach right into a assured NBA contract. Now getting into his second season, the 21-year-old, 6-8 ahead believes he can help out the Blazers at any position.

Wherever Chauncey places me, I really feel like I can thrive. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 I can maintain it down- if Dame wants a break I can maintain it down.

As a starter on Portland’s Summer time League workforce in Las Vegas this July, Watford helped Portland win the Summer time League title and earned MVP honors within the championship recreation. He said he took it on himself to be a vocal leader.

I simply needed to be that vocal chief at Summer time League, studying from guys like Dame, Nurk, Jerami – I’m actually trying ahead to studying extra.

Watford said an outspoken persona is simply pure for him.

It’s simply my persona to be the sunshine at the hours of darkness room – I’m getting Ant to speak slightly extra we’re getting actually shut. Dames not likely quiet – laughs – I simply wish to be mild.

Walker Beginning to ‘Slot in’

One other Summer time League standout, Jabari Walker has change into a Rip Metropolis fan-favorite earlier than his first official NBA recreation as a consequence of his spectacular marketing campaign in Las Vegas. The 2022 late second spherical choose said he has been shocked by all of the assist.

It’s loopy, I don’t really feel like I ought to have as a lot fan assist as I do – however I suppose the best way I portrayed myself, they actually like me I suppose.

The rookie said he’s starting to seek out his place amongst his teammates, with some assist from Greg Brown III and Little.

I’m beginning to see the place I slot in.

I discuss to Greg Brown so much, he was only a rookie final 12 months and Nassir Little has been a vet to me on what to anticipate.

Eubanks ‘Proud’ to be a Blazer

Drew Eubanks grew up in Oregon, taking part in for Reynolds Excessive College after which for the Oregon State Beavers in faculty. After taking part in for the Blazers on a sequence of 10-day contracts final season, this summer time he agreed to return to his hometown workforce on a one-year deal. He said he takes nice delight in suiting up for his native NBA franchise.

I felt like I used to be taking part in for the individuals I grew up with, Oregon State, Reynolds – it’s simply one of the simplest ways to place it’s ‘proud.’

He also spoke on what it’s been like studying how one can play with the distinctive expertise that’s Damian Lillard.

I’ve by no means actually performed with a man the place my [defender] is up on the stage or blitzing the display screen – the most important factor has been set the choose and get out of there after which it’s as much as me to seek out that shooter within the nook or make the play from there.

Johnson Centered on ‘Defensive Presence’

Keon Johnson got here to Portland, together with Winslow, final season within the commerce with the Los Angeles Clippers that despatched Norman Powell and Robert Covington out of city. As a rookie first spherical choose, the 20-year-old demonstrated nice athleticism and leaping means on the guard place. Now getting into his second season, Johnson said he’s labored laborious within the offseason to be a much bigger issue on the defensive finish.

I’ve obtained one 12 months underneath my belt now. I simply took it again to the fundamentals – I sat down & wrote issues down, one among them was my defensive presence. How can I be completely different within the defensive finish, one of many issues I’ve added is selecting up at 94 toes & that’s actually improved my conditioning.

Examine across the web site for extra summaries of Media Day 2022 interviews!

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