There has always been the chatter that can grow into overstatement. All the hype. And all the questions.
How good was Harry Giles? How good is he now? Or worse -- Whatever happened to Harry Giles?
Well, he happened Friday night in Moda Center for the Portland Trail Blazers, when he came off the bench to get 18 points, 14 rebounds and two blocked shots in Portland’s first exhibition game, a 127-102 win over the Sacramento Kings, his former team.
Giles, a top NBA prospect while still in high school, has suffered through a torn ACL in both knees and has had little chance to show himself in the NBA.
But Friday -- it was just an exhibition game, of course, so no need to get too overly excited -- he was active, energetic and skilled in his backup center role.
“I think there's all the questions and question marks and curiosity of what's going on,” Giles said afterward. “Is he healthy or is he not?
“You know, I'm feeling good. I'm just ready to go out there and show it and kind of just silence the noise. Still humble as I’ve always been, just trying to prove my point, to show that I'm here. I'm here. I'm good.”
Giles played in only 104 games over three seasons with the Kings as he recovered from his injuries and seemed to be buried, at times, on the team’s bench.
But in a surprising move, Sacramento declined to pick up Giles’ fourth-year option last season and it made him an unrestricted free agent this summer, when Portland signed him to a one-year deal.
It was a strange move by the Kings, who are young and in a rebuilding mode. There certainly was enough playing time in Sacramento to find out a little more about what they had in a player who was held in high esteem by his teammates and has shown flashes, as he did Friday, of becoming an outstanding player.
“He's always tough, man,” the Kings’ Buddy Hield said after the game. “He plays with his heart. His game speaks for itself."
Giles was asked if he is always going to have a little something extra to give when playing his former team.
“Probably,” he said, before quickly adding, “I think I may have a little bit extra for everybody. That’s just how I play.
“You know I just wanted to impose my will and just let out the extra energy and all the feeling and emotion I’ve been feeling in the last few months. I wanted to just let it out tonight, so that's what I did.”
And at least for one night, there is no doubt where Harry Giles is. And how he feels.