As Trail Blazers big man Harry Giles sat down to do his first media appearance at the Trail Blazers practice facility after signing with the team over the weekend, he was already reppin’ Portland.
Tuesday morning, the 22-year-old pulled up his chair and sat down to the Zoom call wearing a Portland Gear sweatshirt.
That in itself could be enough proof that this youngster is ready to get his career in Portland started.
Giles missed his rookie season in 2017 with the Sacramento Kings due to various knee problems as he continued to rehab an ACL and MCL injury.
But the 6’11,” 240-pound forward/center is looking to put his many injuries behind him. He’s ready for a fresh start in Portland.
Along with that fresh start comes learning from the Blazers’ veterans.
“I’m glad to be here. Sacramento -- we had some older vets, but for the most part we were always us being young. I think now it’s a different aspect – playing with guys who are All-Stars and been in the league a long time, guys that I’ve been looking up to my whole life too.”
Now we can add another young player to Portland's roster who grew up watching Carmelo Anthony and idolizing him.
But it wasn’t as if Giles just had posters of Melo on his wall, oh no, he did a class project on Melo.
Here's to hoping Giles can find that second grade project someday.
The Blazers big man also couldn’t help but discuss how eager he is to learn from the Blazers backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
“Everybody here is someone you can learn from – Dame, CJ, all those guys – Rodney [Hood]," Giles said. "Rodney went to Duke, so me and Hood already got a little connection from there.”
Plus, Giles saw first-hand during the NBA restart how the Blazers’ team chemistry is second to none.
“I stayed in the same hotel as Portland and I just saw how they were gathering up all the time, meeting together as a team, just little stuff like that. It’s cool to see you’re going to a place like that,” Giles said.
But now that he’s in Portland, Giles will add some needed depth to the big rotation of Jusuf Nurkic, Enes Kanter and Zach Collins.
The Duke alum says he is ready to bring his versatility and energy.
And nobody should worry about his health.
The setbacks are in the past for Giles.
And now his NBA life has truly come full circle.
The Trail Blazers originally drafted and traded Giles to the Kings in 2017. After being healthy enough to play two years in Sacramento, the Kings then declined his option in 2019.
Giles has played in just 104-career games dealing with various injuries and not getting as much opportunity with the Kings.
He is ready for the change of scenery.
"I’m on a new team, a new opportunity and I’m excited to play… It’s cool now I get to actually play in Portland."
For his career, he holds career averages of 7.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists.
But he wants us all to know that his career is “on the way.”
Giles is on his way with Melo, Lillard, and McCollum ready to help lead him down the path.