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Teammates Stand By Nassir Little

Facing a serious injury and time away from the sport, his coach and teammates offered their support.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Bad news rocked the Portland Trail Blazers this week when it was announced that Nassir Little would likely be out for the remainder of the season due to a tear in his left labrum. The news was all the more upsetting for the fact that Little was enjoying a breakout season. Casey Holdahl of spoke to Little’s teammates and coach about Little’s injury.

“For sure it sucks,” said Anfernee Simons. “Last thing I heard was people saying he was like day-to-day, wasn’t serious. But I walked in the locker room, said ‘Everything cool?’ and he said ‘Nah man.’ That sucks to see, he was having such a great year, finally figuring it out, figuring out his role and what he brings to the game. It’s always tough to see something like that happen to him, it’s a tough thing to deal with injuries.”

Coach Chauncey Billups was proud of the progress Little had made prior to the injury.

“He’s making so many gains,” said Billups. “With the things that we talked about with me taking over the job, my vision for him, what I want to do with him and for him, everything was working out perfectly. And I’m proud of him for that. He didn’t play very much before I was here, or at least have a consistent role, so one of the things for him was to try to earn the trust of the coaching staff, and he did that. And to earned the trust of his players, he did that.

“He accomplished so many things that was necessary for him as a young player in a short amount of time that I’m happy and proud of him for, but it’s always unfortunate when a young guy goes down for a substantial amount of time.”

Veteran CJ McCollum said that the biggest thing is for Little to be patient on his road to recovery.

“I know what it’s like to be out for months on end, I know what it’s like to feel disconnected,” said CJ McCollum. “The depression, the anxiety, the worry, the feeling of like, man, I wish I would be out there. I know all those things (Little) is going to go through. But it’s big for him to stay patient.”

Anfernee Simons remains at the ready to support his teammate.

“The most important thing is to have good people around him at this time,” said Simons. “You need a lot of good people around you to continue to support you and be there for you and let you know that you’re going to be back 100 percent and everything’s going to be okay. I think that’s the biggest thing for Nas now going through is recovery, having good people around him to encourage him and stay focused. He knows I’m here for him any time he needs me.”

We wish Nas the best as he heals.