The Portland Trail Blazers introduced rookie Anfernee Simons to Rip City on Monday.
Simons was drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft on Thursday with the 24th overall pick.
The 19-year-old from Florida did not play college ball, but the team liked what they saw from him during pre-draft workouts.
“One of the coaches said, ‘He’s all bite and no bark,’ which I thought was a really interesting way to describe him. When he’s out there playing, he’s playing for blood, but he’s just such a sweet, nice kid. He doesn’t feel the need to show everybody how hard he’s competing,” said Neil Olshey, president of basketball operations for the Blazers.
Simons said he already likes the feeling he gets from Portland.
“It’s really nice. I like it. There’s no mosquitoes, no bugs like Florida,” he said.
Simons played last year for the IMG Academy, a post-grad team. He posted the third-highest vertical jump at the NBA combine before the draft.
Despite his youth, Simons said he’s ready to play at the next level.
“I feel like I know what I can do, and my dad always told me there’s no pressure playing basketball. I feel like you’re just playing, honestly,” Simons said.
Simon said he’s looking forward to the NBA Summer League, which begins next month.
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