Portland Trail Blazers guard Norman Powell is 13 games into his tenure with the team, and if the Blazers front office has their way in this summer’s contract negotiations, the former NBA champion will be around for much longer. For observers seeking to learn more about the newly-acquired guard, Jason Quick of The Athletic released a piece today, discussing the ways Portland is seeking to make Powell feel appreciated in such a short time span, the promises Powell made to his family, and his journey towards becoming a solidified NBA contributor.
As it relates to on-court play, Quick makes mention of how the Blazers’ organization sought to make Powell feel at home, even prior to his arrival in Portland. They arranged for him to reside in former Blazer Kent Bazemore’s vacant home, stocked with all of his favorite items and necessities. The groupthink is that this should give Portland a bit of a leg-up when it’s time to sit down and negotiate, something Blazers’ president of basketball operations, Neil Olshey, is well aware of:
“It was amazing,” Powell said. “And I mean, AMAZING. They went all out. They did everything you can think of to make sure that I’m comfortable.”
Much of the personal detail was made with Powell’s impending free agency this summer in mind.
“We have a very brief time to make a strong and lasting impression on Norman,” said Neil Olshey, the Blazers’ president of basketball operations. “That doesn’t just mean on the basketball court, but also for life off the court for himself and his family.”
Nearly one month into his run in Rip City, it hasn’t taken Powell long to find comfort on the floor; he’s averaged 17.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. Quick sheds light on Powell’s remarkable off-court story, including the lessons learned from his late uncle Raymond and his impact on molding Powell into becoming a philanthropist, and helping steady him on his path to giving his family a better life.
“You know, I always felt that way, that I wanted to take care of my family, even before things went down in the hospital,” Norman said. “But I kind of came to realize that the whole time, my uncle was teaching me, showing me, preparing me in how to be the man of the house. He was showing me how to take responsibility. Teaching me how to manage that responsibility. And preparing me to do the right things to handle my priorities, which is the family.”
Powell also discusses which Blazers he’s cultivated relationships with the quickest, and how he views Portland as a place to chase a championship. For those seeking to learn more about Powell as both a player and person, the link can be found here (subscription required).