Blazers Thoughts: Anfernee Simons' Bounce

by Casey Holdahl
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After a recent practice in Dallas, Trail Blazers rookie guard Anfernee Simons put on an impressive show of athletic prowess by performing several high degree of difficultly dunks. While Simons has been on the team since being selected with the 24th overall pick of the 2018 Draft and despite the fact that they play in a league repleat with impressive athletes, even his teammates seemed stunned at the elevation and effortlessness which the 19 year old from Orlando displayed on the practice court at American Airlines Center. 

So in this edition of Blazers Thoughts, we asked Simons and his teammates about his uncommon athleticism and his one-man dunk contest in Dallas...



EVAN TURNER

"Honestly, I’ve seen stuff on TV like that. I can’t remember seeing it in a while, probably since my second or third year in the league. Most people don’t really do it post-practice either. I haven’t really been with high flyers except Meyers, but he’s 7-feet, how impressive is that?

And he’s so quiet, which probably makes it even more crazy because he walks around, don’t really say much whatsoever. Haven’t seen him much since he came back from the G-League, we play basketball obviously, but he’s hella quiet so his skill set, when you see him again, just little things like looking at the rim, you’re like ‘Oh my god.’ You almost forget about what the future is about to hit for. He’s a talented kid and I think it’s a great teaser. But even saying it’s a great teaser is an understatement because you see him day in and day out, you break it down and a lot of people like ‘Hey, some 15 year old got into the game.’ I know he’s 19 but he looks like a kid, imagine how good he is, you know what I’m saying? It’s the truth. People like ‘Yo, there’s a baby on the bench’ and I’m like ‘Okay, imagine how good he is.

He’s really good, really talented, blessed with athleticism. We joke because we’re like, when you hit 190 pounds you won’t be that light to go toward the rim, but I doubt he’ll ever get to 190 pounds. He’s so light! That kid, man, I wasn’t too sure what we were going to get because he didn’t play in college but kid is really talented. He’s, in my personal opinion, a jewel."

MOE HARKLESS

"He usually doesn’t do stuff like that. We all give him a hard time because we know he can jump but that was the first time where he really tried to get up and jump as high as he could. He’s super athletic, we all know that, but that was pretty impressive (in Dallas). 

"As much as we do see it or as much as we’re able to do it, it’s still hard. It’s still rare for someone at 6-4 to be able to get their head to the rim like that, looking at the rim. And it’s just the way he jumps, I think. It’s doesn’t look as powerful, it’s just so smooth. He sits in the air and it feel like he just keeps going up. It looks effortless, I think that’s probably the most impressive thing. His athleticism is top notch."

JAKE LAYMAN

"I’ve seen him a lot where he’s doing dunks after practice, he’s got a lot of bounce, as you can see. I’ve known it for a long time so it’s nothing new for me to see, but it’s still impressive. He’s one of the bounciest guys I’ve seen, for sure. It’s pretty incredible. Young legs!"

MEYERS LEONARD

"I think the thing that helps Anf is that, number one, he’s young and he’s also pretty light, but that’s not to take away the fact that the kid has absolute elite level of bounce. He’s very athletic. I think now, being with our strength and conditioning staff, deadlifting, doing things in the weight room on a consistent basis, to not only be athletic but to be strong, is helping him take it to even another level."

DAMIAN LILLARD

"There’s athleticism, there’s elite athleticism and then there’s what he can do."

ANFERNEE SIMONS

"That’s probably the first time they’ve ever seen me jump. Like, really try to actually jump. I’ve always known I can jump that high but I’ve really never jumped a lot. Just casual. I just felt good that day and I was like, might as well."

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