Now 64 games into the Portland Trail Blazers’ season, we have seen countless highlight plays from rookie guard Shaedon Sharpe. The 19-year-old has absolutely ridiculous athleticism and has graced us with dunk after dunk and some truly exceptional blocks. Whether Portland wins or loses, he is always worth watching.
But the nuances of the NBA game have, at times, been slow to come for Sharpe, according to Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups. After Sunday’s win against the Orlando Magic, Billups was asked about Sharpe’s development. This is what he had to say.
Shae, he’s come in and it’s been a tough game for him to learn. He really never even had a chance to learn the college game, and then all of a sudden – boom – he’s thrust into learning the NBA game. It’s a lot. It’s a lot of things to study, it’s a lot of things to watch, but he’s taking that task very serious and he’s starting to now understand what we want as a team, what his role is, what we need from him every single night. He’s always going to have those wild moments because that’s just the type of beautiful athlete that he is, but it’s the simple things that he’s really starting to pick up, you know, where guys can start the game more and more trust happening (with) a young guy out there.
Portland fans will have to be patient with Sharpe, which can be difficult to do with so much potential on display. The more the game slows down for him and the more he understands his role on the team, the more viable he will be in the extended minutes we all hope are coming in the future.
And that is the name of the game for Sharpe right now. Future. He presently averages 7.9 points per game in 20 minutes off the bench for the Trail Blazers, but we have seen promising signs all season long that he will be capable of much, much more.