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Trail Blazers Media Day 2022: Nassir Little Returns from Injury

With his shoulder healed, the young forward is ready to campaign again.

Utah Jazz v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers Media Day 2022 featured one of the more fascinating questions to hit the normally-placid Blazers in years: who will start at small forward. The day wouldn’t be complete without hearing from one of the incumbent candidates, Nassir Little. Sidelined by a shoulder injury for much of last season, Little has returned rejuvenated and, if his work in front of the mic today is any indication, is ready to campaign for his spot once again.

Sean Highkin shares how Little is feeling renewed after an extended absence due to injury.

Nassir Little says he feels “rejuvenated” after being sidelined so long with the shoulder and core muscle surgeries.

Danny Marang of Blazer’s Edge and 1080 The Fan echoes the sentiment:

Being away from the game for so long was tough, I’m feeling good - feeling healthy - I’m just excited for the opportunity. My first 3 years it was a steady progression, now I have a real opportunity to compete for a starting spot that’s all I could ask for.

And then some:

I’ve always been strong but I’ve gotten stronger, leaner, more explosive - I’m good man, I’m just ready to get going.

Highkin also cites Little’s optimism for the full recovery of franchise superstar Damian Lillard:

Nassir Little on Damian Lillard: “I wouldn’t be surprised if this is one of his best seasons to date.”

Via Marang, Little is also developing chemistry with younger teammates, especially Portland’s 2022 draftees:

Jabari [Walker] and I have just kind of gravitated towards each other - we’re like minded individuals- I texted Joe right after we drafted him “steal” - I just love his approach, he’s super humble he has the makings of a really great player.

I’m an ultimate competitor - I got a step on him [rookie Shaedon Sharpe] and he met me at the top - I still scored - but I told him afterwards that what I love to see that competitor. I was like alright, you got some heart in you. He’s got real talent, he can do it all- handles, crazy athletic.

Check around the site for more write-ups from Media Day 2022 interviews!