Rodney Hood joined the Portland Trail Blazers as a wing reinforcement for an NBA Playoffs-bound team. It was a complete change from the situation he was previously in with the Cleveland Cavaliers. But in Portland, Hood is finding himself again, as Jason Quick of The Athletic writes (subscription required):
Hood says there is something about these players, these coaches and this front office that has brought back the joy of basketball.
“This here, this is unique,” Hood said. “This is something I haven’t felt since … well, I haven’t felt it. Especially since I’ve been in the NBA. I have doubted myself a lot, but once I came here, I’ve started to feel like myself again. I’m not averaging what I did in Utah, but I’m back to playing like myself.”
Hood’s father, Ricky, has even heard back from his son about the special situation he’s in:
“All I hear from Rodney is about Lillard, CJ, Aminu … all the guys there are up and rooting for each other during games and they are a true team,” Ricky said. “They have made him feel so welcomed, and that’s a major thing for a parent. Even though he is a professional athlete, he has seen the heart of the Portland organization. These guys celebrate each other’s success. And I’m telling you, it’s something to be wanted.”
Hood even is thinking about a future in Portland:
“I don’t want to be too definitive about it,” Hood said. “But this is a place I want to stay. I feel like it fits my personality, fits my game. And sometimes, I think God puts you in places that realign you. That has been a big thing I’ve been thinking about this year: realignment. That was one of my New Year’s resolutions, allowing God to realign my focus.”
You can read Quick’s incredible detailing of Hood’s basketball journey, from his youth days to the NBA, here (subscription to The Athletic required).