The Trail Blazers’ recent stuggles haven’t had a lasting impact on the action behind the scenes. While recent high-profile drama in Minnesota and Golden State captured the headlines, Portland’s tight-knit locker room has laid the groundwork for a superb culture. Led by star guard Damian Lillard, the Blazers have built a network of veterans that foster a family-like atmosphere off the court.
The Athletic’s Jason Quick recently asked newcomer Nik Stauskas to compare Portland’s culture to some of his other stops in the NBA.
“When I compare this situation to other teams I’ve been on, there’s just a lot less, like, drama,” Nik Stauskas said. “There is just a lot more cohesiveness … there’s never any bickering, there’s never any altercations. It just feels like everyone is on the same page, and from what I’ve seen around the league, that’s not normal.”
The Blazers’ culture has carved out a reputation across the league. According to Stauskas, his agent encouraged him to take Portland’s offer in the summer.
“He was raving about the great locker room, the great guys, and he was like ‘Every time I send one of my players to Portland they always love it, they have career years,”’ Stauskas said. “It was one thing for him to say it, but once I came here and experienced it, I understood why he was saying what he was. It’s definitely been refreshing being in this environment and having fun with these guys.”
It appears that Stauskas has found a comfortable fit with the Blazers after stints with the Kings, 76ers and Nets.
You can read Quick’s full post on Portland’s culture at The Athletic (subscription required).