By 750 THE GAME STAFF
The Blazers have had a struggle of a season so far. But even in all the bad there are still some positives to take away.
One of the biggest positives is Anfernee Simons. The star guard is averaging a career high 24.6 points per game. Simons was on The Old Man and the Three Podcast and was talking about how Damian Lillard had such a big impact on his career.
“Even from the first time we met,” Simons told Redick. “He was at my draft workout. He watched me. He saw me work out for the first time. The way he carried himself even through good times and bad times that’s the thing I respect about him more. He kept his humility. He’s the same person. He works out the same way just as hard and he’s a top 75 player. He’s the same way since I met him.”
When Lillard got traded the Blazers lost one of the most clutch players in NBA history. Anfernee Simons has taken the reign from Lillard, and this year he leads the NBA in clutch scoring points per game, and Simons gives a lot of credit to the Blazers all time leading scorer.
“Even my rookie year Dame would come to the side, I’m not playing, he would come to me during the game and tell me why he’s doing what he’s doing in the game,” Simons said. “I’m going to set them up now and then in the fourth quarter that’s when I’ll be able to attack. That’s how I think the game now.”
It’s hard to remember that this season for the Blazers is a process. Simons talked to Redick about how Lillard had to learn to play against a trapping defense just like Simons is learning. And even though Lillard is a Buck, Simons still reaches out to Lillard to get help.
“I’m going through what everything he’s been through especially this year,” Anfernee said. “Where they are throwing insane defenses at me. Sometimes I ask him to this day ‘what do I do?’ When we played Dallas they were trapping me every single screen. And I’m like I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to sit here and take tough shots, but it looks like I might have to take tough shots. He’s like, ‘sometimes that’s just what it is. You can’t just let them take you out of the game. That day is going to be a tough shot day, and all the best players are going to make it happen regardless.”
Check out more with Anfernee Simons on The Old Man and the Three Podcast with J.J. Redick by clicking the link below. The whole interview comes out today.