Collins Talks Summer League, Rookie Year On 'The Jim Rome Show'

by Casey Holdahl
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Prior to helping the Trail Blazers advance to the 2018 Summer League Tournament Final by way of defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 97-92, power forward/center Zach Collins joined "The Jim Rome Show" to discuss a host of topics, including Portland's undefeated run in Las Vegas, the ups and downs of his rookie season, playing for Mark Few at Gonzaga and growing up in the desert. Collins and the rest of Portland's summer league roster will face the Los Angeles Lakers tonight in the 2018 Tournament Final (tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. on ESPN).

The entire interview is below, though a few quotes have also been transcribed...

On his performance at the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League...

Zach Collins: "Offense has been probably the weakest part of my game throughout summer league this year. Defensively, I felt like I’ve been pretty consistent but offensively, had to get into my rhythm a little bit. (Versus Boston) I felt really good, so I was happy to do that. But as a team, we’ve been playing pretty consistently and pretty unselfishly the whole summer league. When you play with guys like that on your team, it only boost your own performance."

On how he dealt with riding the bench at the start of his rookie season...

Zach Collins: "It was definitely an adjustment. I had to deal with DNPs, that’s something I’ve never really dealt with before, so mentally, that was a little tough. It was obviously a little humbling, too. It really kind of gets you to work as hard as you possibly can to get on that court, it requires you to ask questions of the coaching staff like ‘What can you do to get on the court? What am I not doing that’s keeping me off the court?’ You just go through a lot of those things in your mind and at the end of the day you’ve just got to stay ready. It’s a long season — I learned early last year how long of a season it is. When I wasn’t playing I was like ‘Dang, I wonder if I’m going to get in the game?’ and it was only 15 games into the season. Then I realized how many more games we had left. It’s a long year and I think I learned a lot from not playing. I had the opportunity to watch a lot — it’s a pretty good seat — and just kind of learn from the guys around me. Obviously we have really good vets on the team that helped me out with that. Once I got my opportunity I was ready and I think that’s a credit to staying in the gym and not getting down on myself."

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