Al-Farouq Aminu left the Portland Trail Blazers last summer and signed a three-year deal with the Orlando Magic. Aminu had spent four seasons in Portland and now finds himself transitioning to a new team. Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype talked to Aminu about his change in environments:
What was your free-agency process like and why did you decide to join the Orlando Magic?
Al-Farouq Aminu: I like that they’re a young team and I thought that I could bring some veteran leadership to them. Also, they went to the playoffs last year, so I knew they had a good team. I like their style of play and different things like that. I’m glad I made that decision.
Aminu also touched on leaving the Blazers, saying that Portland wasn’t the same team that he had grown with; the veteran forward found friendships in departed players like Ed Davis, Moe Harkless and Evan Turner:
You were with the Blazers for four years and you had a lot of success there. And I know you were close with some of the players there. Was it tough to leave Portland this past summer?
AFA: Kinda sorta. It was [tough] because I’m leaving the guys I was playing with, but a lot of the guys ended up leaving anyway, so it was kind of like, “Well, nobody is there.” Not “nobody,” but you know what I mean. The gang’s not even there anymore anyway, so it wouldn’t have been the same even if I had stayed. It would’ve been weird had I stayed. It’s not the organization, it’s the people that you get to work with every day that you end up [getting close with].
Aminu is currently averaging 19.7 minutes per game for Orlando, averaging 4.1 points and 4.6 rebounds.
You can read more from Kennedy’s Q&A with Aminu here.