The Portland Trail Blazers officially welcomed first round pick Anfernee Simons to the team during a press conference at the team’s practice facility Monday morning.
It was a fairly standard introductory presser, and Simons looked at ease in front of the media as he fielded questions. Here’s a transcript of select comments, with the video of the full presser below:
Q: How does it feel to be here?
Simons: It feels great. Coming in, I came here twice so I was able to see a little bit of everything. It feels like home. It’s an unreal feeling.
Q: On draft night, we saw the video after you got drafted of you embracing your mom. Can you just describe what was going through your mind as you guys had that embrace?
Simons: All the hard work I put in throughout the years, all the crying. I put a lot of crying in. So just thinking back on that, I got emotional.
Q: Crying about what?
SImons: My dad was real tough me, to start off with. So it was kinda tough for me at the beginning. Since like five years old, he had been tough on me.
Simons; Just tough love. Telling me what I’m doing wrong all the time, and critiquing me all the time, so it kind of made me tougher mentally, and of course when I’m five years old I couldn’t take that. So I was crying a lot.
Q How would you describe yourself as a player?
Simons: I see myself as a guy that can score the ball and be able to do multiple things on the court. Score, pass, play defense. I feel I can do those probably the best.
Q: What do you see as the biggest obstacle or struggle ahead for you?
Simons: Just getting used to an 82 game season. The wear and tear on your body. I feel that’s going to be the most tough thing to take. And probably the travel.
Q: What’s your support system going to look like?
Simons: My dad will probably move with me. My mom will probably come back and forth, she can work remotely. My sister will probably come back and forth.
Q: Have you thought about that moment when you take the practice court with Damian and CJ?
Simons: It’s going to be really exciting. I can’t wait for that day too. It’s going to be pretty exciting to go out there and compete with them.
Q: Do you feel much pressure coming in at 19 years old?
Simons: Honestly, no. I feel like I know what I can do. My dad always told me, “there’s no pressure playing basketball.” I feel like just playing, honestly.
Q: Anything you’re looking forward to with Summer League?
Simons: Just getting to play. It’s been a while since I’ve played an actual five on five game, so I can’t wait to do that.
Q: With not playing in college, I bet you haven’t had a ton of big-stage experience. How have you been preparing to go from prep to playing in the pros?
Simons: Just being relaxed, honestly. When I go into a big arena, it’s just knowing how to relax myself and knowing it’s the same as going into another gym.
Q: You keep bringing up your dad. Would you say you’re closest with him or is it just a basketball thing?
Simons: Just a basketball thing (laughter). I probably talk to my mom more, but my dad and I are always together and do basketball stuff. He’s going to be here full time, so we’re going to get real close.
You can watch the press conference in it’s entirety below:
Anfernee Simons Introduction Press ConferencePosted by Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, June 25, 2018