Kent Bazemore, along with Hassan Whiteside, will headline the Trail Blazers’ new group of veteran players looking to make a splash after a change scenery. Bazemore, a 30-year-old wing, is transiting from a re-building situation in Atlanta to a Portland squad focused on another postseason run.
The Athletic’s Jason Quick spoke with Bazemore about his mindset prior to the start of the regular season. Bazemore explained that he was focused on joining the Blazers long before the trade transpired.
“I’m all about the law of attraction,” Bazemore said. “And I always said, ‘You need to get to Portland … you need to get to Portland … you need to get to Portland,’” Bazemore said.
He said he provided Atlanta with a list of teams to where he would like to be traded. Portland was number one on that list.
“And now,” Bazemore said, “here I am.”
Bazemore went on to explain how he struggled navigating NBA’s changing landscape during the Hawks’ youth movement.
“The game is changing with the young guys coming in and getting an opportunity right away,” Bazemore said. “It wasn’t like that when I first came in. I’m old school in that respect. All you have to do is be respectful, work your way up. But the league is changing in that respect, and that frustrated me.”
Now in Portland, Bazemore is excited about his role and new surroundings.
“The trade was the icing on the cake,” Bazemore said. “I feel like now I’ve got a great perspective on life. This summer taught me not to take myself too seriously, and I’m not playing with that anger, that arrrrgh!
“It’s kind of smooth, I’m getting to my spots and seeing the floor better. I see a lot of good things coming. It’s going to be a great year.”
Bazemore was featured in 67 games (35 starts) for the Hawks last season. He averaged 11.6 points per game on 40.2 percent shooting from the field.
You can read Quick’s full story at The Athletic (subscription required).