Terry Porter knows his way about the NBA, having played for four teams and having coaching for two others. Porter scored over 15,000 points in his 14-year career (ten of those in Portland), and his J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award from 1993 proves that he could make a few off the court as well. Porter jumped on the phone with Samer to talk about what he’s doing right now and offer some of his opinions on NBA’s playoff contenders and his own future in pro basketball.
WL: What do you think of all the injuries that have happened to the Trail Blazers so far?
TP: Unfortunately this franchise two or three years ago was the new up-and coming-franchise. It had all those areas you need: center with Greg Oden, power forward with LaMarcus [Aldridge] and point guard with Brandon Roy. There’s a lot of still unknown in the organization. They have been unbelievable along with the players to overcome so much adversity and resiliency. They’ve shown that now closing out the first half of the season with five wins.
WL: Do you have any interest in coaching again, or will you stay broadcasting for the Trail Blazers?
TP: Well, there is still some interest in me for coaching. I’ll wait and see what opportunities present themselves. I’m also very excited about doing the broadcast thing. It’s something I’ve enjoyed that’s allowed me to stay close to the game.
WL: If you had to make a prediction, which teams do you see making it to the Finals this season?
TP: When you look out east there are four teams that have a legitimate chance to make the finals. It starts with the Boston Celtics. If everyone stays healthy you have a lot of physicality a lot of teams can’t handle with Jermaine O’ Neal and Shaq. You’ve got the skill positions: Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo.
Obviously there’s Miami with the unbelievable key players they have. Can the other pieces like the point guard and center position play up to the level for a seven-game series?
Orlando had those trades a month ago for J-Rich, Hedo Turkoglu, Agent Zero, [laughs] Gilbert Arenas, whatever you want to call him. They’ve had some pieces that have made them an explosive team.
Chicago has their unbelievable players. Derrick Rose continues to grow and play at a very MVP-like level. Joakim Noah’s coming back from a wrist injury and he’ll be there for the second half. Those are the teams in the East that’ll be interesting to watch.
When you talk about the West, you’ve got to start with L.A. [Lakers] if they can stay healthy. When healthy, they’re impossible to beat in a seven-game series.
San Antonio is more than worthy of the challenge. They’ve played extremely well. Quite the contributions from a lot of people. That is definitely a team to be reckoned with. There’s a lot of uncertainty as to how well Utah will be able to regroup, refocus to prove a lot of people wrong about that team.
The Blazers, depending on how healthy they are, can make a great run. LaMarcus, you can’t say enough about this young man stepping up after Brandon’s gone. Dallas has been unbelievable. There’s a team that has won at the right time against the elite teams.
WL: Everyone talks about Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose, but who is your favorite point guard in the NBA right now that not enough people are watching?
TP: I really like Stephen Curry. I really like his play. He needs to be stronger, but he can definitely run a team. Obviously, Russell Westbrook is a young man who can be very explosive. Deron Williams is very exciting to watch, Chris Paul… there’s a handful of guys who can make a difference in this game.
WL: Do you have any thoughts on the NBA CBA expiring at the end of the year? Do you think they will figure it out?
TP: I think they will figure it out. I think both sides understand the magnitude of it in this league. They’re going to find a way to make it work. There’s a lot of money in that pie and they’re going to split that pie. They don’t want to leave the fans disappointed.
WL: Tell us about your involvement with Captain Morgan and their One Million Poses campaign?
TP: I’m here in Portland and excited about being here with Captain Morgan. We’re trying to do the One Million Poses challenge. We’re very excited about being partners with the Captain Morgan brand and really excited about getting the word out. We’ll have about 500 people at halftime to strike the Captain Morgan pose and we’ll have to hold that for two minutes for that to be a Guinness World Record.
WL: Thank you for talking, Terry.
TP: Thank you. Have a great day.
Look for Terry at halftime of the Trail Blazers-Lakers game tonight as he, along with hundreds of people, attempt to break the Guinness World Record for “most people standing on a leg at one time.” For every person that strikes the Captain’s Pose at the game, Captain Morgan will donate $1 to the Make it Better Fund, the charitable arm of the Portland Trail Blazers Foundation, via the Captain’s First Mate Fund.
For more information on the One Million Poses campaign, visit them on Facebook.