Nicolas Batum has learned a few painful lessons through the 14 years since he was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 25th pick, via the Houston Rockets, in 2008.
The 34-year-old told Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times about his early days in Portland and his relationship with then Blazers Assistant Coach Monty Williams.
He highlights his poor showing at the 2008 Summer League, his trade to the Charlotte Hornets in 2015 and almost leaving the league in 2020, before being handed a lifeline by the Los Angeles Clippers.
Experience has taught him not to take for granted the good times. During his first six seasons in Portland, Batum grew into a core piece because, in the recollection of Williams, now the Phoenix Suns’ coach, Batum developed the survival instincts that have kept him in the league.
The piece also includes comments from teammates and current and former coaches, shedding light on the experience and skills Batum has accumulated and applied to his current Clippers teams.
Through 14 years, Batum has averaged 10.9 points, 36 percent three point shooting, 5.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 0.9 steals.
BE community, what’s your favorite memory of Batum with the Blazers? Continue the conversation in the comments below.