Talkin' Ball: Blazers bench production
Dorell Wright was the only member of the Portland Trail Blazers who did not address the media during the team’s exit interviews last week due to a communication breakdown.
CSNNW.com caught up with the small forward on Monday and he didn’t hesitate to say he expected more from himself. He owned up to his inconsistent play and vows to improve upon that in the offseason.
Wright, 28, had his worst season, statistically, in five years. The 2013-14 NBA campaign saw him appear in 68 games where he averaged 5.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.9 assists while shooting 37 percent from the field and 34 percent from three-point range in 14.5 minutes per game.
The 10-year veteran said this was a special season for the team. He just wished he made more of an impact.
Chris Haynes: How would you assess your season?
Dorell Wright: For me, it was a success as far as being able to contribute on a winning team, but I wasn’t satisfied nor happy with my play overall. I feel like I took a few steps back from previous years. It was a season of ups and downs for me. A lot of it had to do with being comfortable in my role in limited time. Going into this summer, my focus is getting better and becoming a lot more efficient. Next season when I get in the game, I want to be as efficient as I can be. It’s a big summer for me.
C.H.: How can you improve on being consistent in the summer?
D.W.: My mindset has to change and I can’t take shots for granted. I just need to get in the gym and improve my game. Fine-tuning some things. I have to make the most of the time I get. If I’m receiving limited opportunities, I want to make sure I’m more efficient. And that’s all on me. I’m not going to get a lot of shots like others so I have to make the most out of my opportunities.
C.H.: Was your role what you anticipated?
D.W.: We got a team full of weapons and guys having career years. I understand. I’m a pro. I stayed ready for whenever my number was called. The last series, I think it was all about matchups to why I didn’t play. I never asked for an answer so I’m not totally sure. I was definitely frustrated by not playing, but I’m a team player.
C.H.: What’s your take on the season as a whole?
D.W.: It was a great year for us as a team. It was positive. I’m not concerned about me when it comes to that. At the end of the day, I feel like I helped us get to where we were. We got to the second round where nobody predicted we’d be. It was a special season and we’re only going to get better from here.
C.H.: Do you expect to be back next year?
D.W.: I should be back. I got another year left. I’m not even thinking about going anywhere else.
C.H.: What are your immediate plans as far as travel and working out?
D.W.: I’m in Portland until my son gets out of school then I’ll go back to Los Angeles for a bit. I didn’t get too much run during the season so I’ll start working out after this weekend. I’ll get at it hard. I’m not going to take much time off this summer. It’s about getting better.
C.H.: What are your impressions of the fan base?
D.W.: It was great. It reminded me of Golden State. It’s a powerful fan base. As a player, you love playing in environments like that. You can’t beat that. I can’t wait for next year. We’re going to be good.
C.H.: What’s the next step for this team next season?
D.W.: We’ll keep that in house, and whatever y’all say we’ll do, we’ll probably go over that. That’s what happened this year. People doubted us. Counted us out. We showed how resilient we are so we’ll listen to what y’all say and take it for what it’s worth. Because at the end of the day, it’s on us and nobody else.
C.H.: What did you think when Terry Stotts received his extension?
D.W.: I’m happy for him. He deserved it. This league is a grind for a coach and it’s very stressful. It takes a toll on you mentally and it takes valuable time away from your family. A coach, man, a lot goes into it. He deserves it. He did a great job this year. I don’t hate on anybody that goes out there and works his or her butt off. Coach Stotts earned that extension.