Despite Complaints, Gary Trent Jr. Is Going To Keep On Talking

by Casey Holdahl
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Trail Blazers guard Gary Trent Jr. knows he can be a bit annoying from time to time. Not just on the court, where he’s seen his profile increase exponentially during the restart in Orlando due to his three-point shooting and physical approach defense, but off of it as well. It’s something of a family tradition.

“Super loud, obnoxious at times,” said Trent Jr. of his personality. “But hey, that’s the Trent’s.”

Trent Jr. could rub some the wrong way, and that was before he became one of the emerging stars of the NBA regular season restart in Orlando, averaging 18.0 points on 54 percent shooting from the field and 57 percent shooting from three while helping the Trail Blazers get off to a 4-2 record through the first six seeding games. Now that’s he’s starting to see the payoff of all the hard work he’s put in over the last two seasons, he’s not about to change up.

“Motivating myself to keep going, I talk to my teammates as well,” said Trent Jr. of his communication on the court. “I’m just not out there talking to talk, it’s for a reason. Just being vocal. I’m out there to be a voice, I’m out there to help this team and to do anything I can. If it’s defending, knocking down shots, giving extra effort. Doing the little things.”

And maybe being a little acerbic as well. The complaints about Trent Jr.’s talk on the court first came from Utah’s Donovan Mitchell back in February, when he stated that “I don’t see why a guy like Gary Trent should come in and think he can just punk us... We’re not a team that you can come in and just talk trash to” after Trent Jr. hounded the runner-up for the 2019 Rookie of the Year award into a 6-of-16 shooting night.

More recently, Trent Jr. heard from the Clippers’ Paul George that he “talks too much” after stripping the former Pacer and Thunder forward in the second quarter of Portland’s loss to L.A. last Saturday. While it’s certainly true that Trent Jr. is talking, one wonders if the complaints are really about the chatter rather than being annoyed that a second-year, second-round pick has the audacity to step up to them.

“I honestly feel like I am a dog on the court,” said Trent Jr. “Off the court I’m nice, I’m lovable, I joke around, but in between the lines, it’s go time. There’s no time to play around and it’s strictly business.”

Given the results, there’s little to no chance Trent Jr. will change either the content nor frequency of his on-court comments, regardless of what his opponents might prefer. His play might do most of the talking, but his mouth is ready to come off the bench to contribute if need be. Considering the time he’s put in behind closed doors, he’s more than earned the right.

“I work. There’s no different way to put it, I work,” said Trent Jr. “I’m not surprised by this, I work for this. This is everything that I’ve worked for, this is what it should be. That’s why I work, that’s why I put countless hours in, that’s why I got to the gym at night. So this is not a surprise, this is not a shock to me. I’m here to play, when my number is called, be ready.”

And be vocal.


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