PORTES: It was my first year as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers.
I had never been on a winning team, and I was a little nervous about that.
So I was nervous about starting.
I’m like, “Oh my God, it’s going to be an uphill battle.”
But I was so nervous about the game that I thought, “I need to be here.
I need to win.”
So that’s how it happened.
Then I started doing my best to win games.
Then we got to the playoffs, and it was so exciting.
I played a lot of minutes.
I made shots.
I felt great about the way I played.
I didn’t want to just get injured, but it just felt like the right thing to do.
I remember being out there, watching the other teams and seeing how they were playing.
I was really nervous because I was getting a lot more minutes than I wanted.
And then, like, my teammates said, “Well, you’re going to need to do more, too.”
So I just got my teammates to say, “You know, you should probably get a little more minutes.”
And so I did.
And I think that’s probably where my season started.
It’s always a little bit easier to win if you’re a young guy who’s just getting started.
That’s when you’re at your best.
You just kind of keep getting better and better.
But at the same time, you have to learn to play and learn to win, too.
When you’re not playing at your very best, you don’t have that confidence that you can just go out and win a championship.
So that was my season.
I think I played very well for most of it.
And at the end of the year, I had a couple of injuries that put me back in the lineup.
And the year I didn, I was injured in the first game of the second half and then I didn.
So, it was a learning experience for me.
But I think the most important thing for me was that I really wanted to win every game.
And that’s what I tried to do as a rookie.
And to win the game and have a chance to win a title, that’s where I felt like I was at.
But that’s also what it took to get back on the floor, because I think we played a very good game against the New York Knicks.
I thought we did a really good job defending, too, and we played very, very well against them.
They were playing a little sloppy, but they just kind toed the line and didn’t do anything to really make it difficult for us.
So it was really good to play with those guys again, and then we went out and did a great job against Portland.
I like to think that we got off to a good start, because we came out of the locker room with a couple points, and the first two possessions, we just dominated the game.
It was a really, really good effort, and that’s all we could have hoped for, to come out and be a dominant team.
It just seemed like the perfect fit for me to play a game that was about building confidence and having fun.
You know, just playing my game and just getting it going.
And as soon as I got back on, it felt like we got it.
We just played really well.
And we came back from a loss and won the game, so it was great.
I loved it.
I got to play against one of the greatest players of all time, one of my favorite players of my era.
I love the fact that I got a chance, and so I was excited to go back out there and play my game.
I’ve never had that chance.
I haven’t had that opportunity.
I know that I can win games when I’m not playing well, but that’s never been my goal, so I’m very excited to get that opportunity this year.
So now I’m excited to be back on that winning team.
GUNZ: So it sounds like you got to be in the best shape of your life.
It sounds like it’s a lot to ask.
I don’t know what it is.
You’re playing in the NBA right now.
You played in the playoffs for the first time.
But how much is it about the physicality that’s different this year, and how much are you playing more?
It’s hard to say.
I can’t really answer that because I’m kind of still on the sideline, just like I said.
But the physical part is obviously something that you have more control over.
I just try to keep my feet on the ground.
I try to take advantage of my opportunities, and when I get opportunities to be on the offensive end, I try and make the most of