Larry Nance Jr. will defend the jersey of a third team since he entered the NBA coinciding with the start of the 2021-22 season. The power forward recently landed on the Portland Trail Blazers as part of a three-way operation that sent Lauri Markkanen to the Cavaliers.
In the process of moving to the state of Oregon, the player has completed an interview for the NBA website in which he shares his feelings about this change of scenery and what it may mean for his career. In it, Nance Jr. acknowledges that his departure from Cleveland has been bitter but, in turn, a great opportunity to aspire to greater heights.
“Leaving Cleveland was obviously very bittersweet for me. I love Cleveland. I’m from here, my father played here, there is a lot of history with my family here ”, the interior began. “I could live here forever, but we have a short time in the NBA. The opportunity to play in Portland came and it was impossible to pass up. It’s a team that I’ve been supporting in the playoffs for a while. I feel like I really have the opportunity to step in and make a difference. This is a team that has been on the brink of something special for a while and I am seen by the senior leaders of the organization as someone who could help them improve. Having the opportunity to play with players of this caliber doesn’t happen too often. ”
More specifically, Nance Jr. focused on how his value as a player can boost the aspirations of the Blazers, mainly in terms of defensive performance, which was the great fault of the team during the past season.
“Those players who step up in the playoffs have impacted me a lot in recent years,” continued the former Cavaliers player. “I saw PJ Tucker become a hero in Milwaukee. Or Bobby Portis. Even guys like Aaron Gordon or Torrey Craig shining in their roles. I fit this type of mold. A versatile defender who can also switch, score, and do a bit of everything. I can defend the positions of three, four and five. I think Blazers fans will see a lot of things that were overlooked these last few years in Cleveland. This is Dame and CJ’s team and I’m just here to make your job easier. “
In addition, Nance Jr. said he was excited to be at the command of the new head coach Chauncey Billups. “I’m really looking forward to working with a guy with his reputation and IQ. Everybody was a fan of his when he played, even now. It’s almost a new beginning and a restart for everyone on the team. That’s why I’m excited to step into this moment and hopefully establish myself as a key cog in the eyes of this new coaching staff. ”
(Cover photo by Jason Miller / Getty Images)