Tolliver hoping to take advantage of this opportunity
By Max Mandel Posted in: anthonytolliver
Since going undrafted after a fine career at Creighton, Anthony Tolliver has seen the many different sides of a professional basketball career. Tolliver has played in Germany and Turkey, played in the NBA Development League, and also had a couple of opportunities for brief stints in the NBA. After starting this season with the Idaho Stampede, Tolliver has been given another opportunity to chase his NBA dream.
Although he played center at Creighton, Tolliver sees himself as more of a 4/3 combo that can help at both positions for this injury-ravaged Trail Blazers team.
"I've always prided myself on being a complete player," Tolliver said of what he can bring to this team. "I'm someone that is going to be solid and definitely a team player. The last couple of years I have been deemed a shooter. I'm a big that can spread the floor for the guards and wings so they can get to the basket."
Having the opportunity to play with guys like Brandon Roy and Andre Miller, who excel in a drive and kick offense, is one of the main reasons Tolliver thinks his game will be a good fit with this team.
"They (the Trail Blazers) have the perfect personnel for me to play off of," Tolliver explained. "I can be beneficial for them because teams are going to have to respect my jumper. Hopefully I can get to the point where I am comfortable playing with them and they are comfortable playing with me. That way when they go to the basket, they know I am there and that if they pass it to me I am going to knock it down."
With all the injuries that the Trail Blazers have suffered this season, Tolliver had a sense that this might be the type of team that could use a guy of his skill set and size.
"You never know what a team is thinking. After Greg (Oden) went down, I knew they would be looking for another body. I wasn't sure if they wanted to get somebody like Greg, or if they wanted to go in a different direction. I just kept playing and I didn't worry about it and I didn't stress about it."
When he finally got the call from the Trail Blazers, Tolliver still faced another audition with some other guys who were brought in for a work out.
"They brought in three of us guys to come and work out, and all three of us were different," Tolliver revealed about his work out. "At that time, I still didn't know what direction they wanted to to go."
After going through the work out and waiting for the phone call, it seemed clear just how much this opportunity means to Tolliver.
"It means a lot," Tolliver declared. "I'm a man of faith, so I believe God has put me in this position for a reason. Just having the opportunity to work out, I know how many guys would just kill for the opportunity to have the work out. To get the call and to hear them say we want to sign you, it's kind of surreal. I was with a couple of friends and we got really excited for awhile. I'm not going to take anything for granted and I'm just going to work as hard as I possibly can and see where this takes me."