Transcript: Jared Jeffries on Trail Blazers Courtside
By caseyholdahl Posted in: jaredjeffries
Jared Jeffries, who the Trail Blazers acquired as a part of the trade that sent Raymond Felton to New York, joined Mike Barrett and Chris Haynes on Trail Blazers Courtside to discuss his thoughts on the trade, his opinion of some of his new teammates (specifically Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard), how he fits into the roster and when he plans on coming to town. Questions are abbreviated, answers are given as close to verbatim as humanly possible.
Your thoughts on joining the Trail Blazers
"I was excited about it. It's such a young team, so many guys that I think are at a point in their career where they're going to turn the corner. They're going to turn the corner, really be consistent and however I can help the team be consistent, make a good playoff push, is what I want to do."
You're a Midwest guy. Have you ever spent time in Portland?
"I haven't. I spent time in Vancouver, I've spent time in Seattle. The only time in Portland was with Channing Frye. He still lives up there, a good friend of mine. Played with him one year in New York. I'm looking forward to it. I love hunting, I love fishing and I'm looking forward to the experience in Portland."
Where do you see yourself on this team? At what position do you feel most comfortable?
"That's the good thing about my game is that, wherever they need me to go out there, my whole career -- this is my 11th year-- I've had a chance to play to wherever they've needed me to go out there to be competitive. LaMarcus (Aldridge) is an unbelievable player. You have JJ (Hickson) coming back. Meyers Leonard is a guy who I really love in the draft. I felt like he was kid who could really surprise a lot of people at what he does. Very athletic, has a good feel for the game. So I see myself playing a role of helping these guys mature and grow and also being a veteran leader on the court."
You've played in big markets. Portland is unique in that the Trail Blazers are the biggest game in town. What are your thoughts on playing in Portland?
"I'm looking forward to it. The fans up there support their team. I know every year that I've been there, the fans have been loud, very impressed with how they support their guys and knowledge of the game. Really, it's similar to New York as far as the fans loving their team, loving their home team, supporting them through thick and thin. I think that's what makes a good NBA city."
Is there a part of your game that gets overlooked?
"Really, what it is, what I try to do is my plus/minus. My whole career I've looked at my plus/minus on the court. When I'm on the court I'm always Top 5 on every team I've been on in a positive sense. My plus, I've always been Top 5 on the team. A lot of years I've been No. 1, and I try to just get out there and whatever my team needs, to provide that so my time on the court is productive and we build a lead."
What did Channing Frye tell you about Portland?
"He loves it. I've talked to him about where to live, different places I feel like would be good for me. He just tells me how much the fans appreciate the team and how good this team could be. A lot of guys on the team he played with and he feels like they could be a really good team in the future."
What are your thoughts on Damian Lillard? How exciting does he look as a rookie who is going to be handed the keys to the team?
"I think that's impressive. I think for an organization like the Blazers to have that much confidence in a young kid, come out of this draft and kind of hand him the keys, essentially we're going to build with you, make you a good point guard in this league, that has to give him confidence. I feel like the biggest part of the NBA game is confidence. If somebody has confidence, if the organization, the coaches believe in him, he can succeed and play well."
When are you coming to Portland?
"Probably next week. I've got to come out there and find a place to live. Next week I'm going to take a flight up there, hang out for a couple of days, find somewhere to live and get accustomed to the city."