While 2020 has been hard on many people, it was especially hard on Portland Trail Blazers’ forward Rodney Hood. After going down due to an Achilles injury last December, Hood has faced a number of personal tragedies, according to Casey Holdahl of Trailblazers.com. Three people close to Hood passed, including his nephew, father-in-law, and his AAU coach. Hood recognized how rough it has been.
“It’s just tough. Me, I’m not a guy who’s dealt with a lot of death in my life, so when it hits you, it hits hard, you question different things,” said Hood. “It’s been tough, it’s been tough all the way around, but it’s part of life.”
Though his personal challenges have been difficult, he has made strides in his recovery and participated in five-on-five scrimmages during training camp.
“I feel good. I’ve been playing for the last probably two, maybe three weeks and I feel good,” said Hood. “I’m excited about where I’m at. There’s been a lot of work put in and I’m ready to get started.”
Hood acknowledged that there is more depth at the forward slot than there has been in past seasons, but he isn’t worried.
“I know what I bring to the table: my ability to shoot the ball, defend multiple positions, play multiple positions, two through the four,” said Hood. “It’s going to be different times during the season where minutes may go up or down, I’m just ready for whatever. I’m happy to be back out on the court. Whatever role that I’ll be in and whatever minutes that I get, I’m just grateful to be playing a game I love again.”
During free agency, Hood had interest from other teams due to the fact that his recovery has gone smoothly. Hood elected to remain with the Trail Blazers, signing a contract for two years and $21 million. The second year is not guaranteed.