Al-Farouq Aminu, who is sidelined with a torn meniscus, returned to the Moda Center as a member of the Magic to face the Trail Blazers for the first time since his four-year stint in Portland. During his time with the Blazers, Aminu was a key ingredient to Portland’s post-Aldridge success, a stretch that included a run to the Western Conference Finals in the 2019 NBA Playoffs.
Upon his return to Portland, NBC Sports Northwest’s Mike Richman spoke with Aminu about the the Blazers’ decision not to engage in contract talks over the summer.
“It felt a little weird,” Aminu said of not getting a contract offer from the Blazers last summer. “In a sense we kept hitting our goals as a team. Like, of course we want to win a championship but there’s only one team that does that. And the one team that does that, they kept beating us. So it was like you would think you’d want to keep it together because we had a young core. But you move on.”
Aminu, who signed a three-year, $29.16 million contract with the Magic, was among a laundry list of regular contributors that departed the Blazers in the offseason.
Contract talks aside, Aminu expressed happiness over the opportunity to catch up with his former teammates on Friday.
“When you’re playing, you’re with guys more than you are with your family so it becomes essentially your family,” Aminu said. “So it’s like seeing your relatives or something like that. Today was sorta like a family reunion almost in a sense. It was really good seeing the guys.”
Over four seasons, Aminu appeared in 293 regular season games and 35 postseason contests for the Blazers.
You can read Richman’s full post at NBC Sports Northwest.