EXCLUSIVE: Nassir Little on Jerami Grant, the Blazers' Rookies and His Foundation
More from our extended conversation with Nassir Little ahead of a pivotal fourth season.
Last week, I published a story on Nassir Little. He's bullish on his outlook for his fourth season, and on the moves the Trail Blazers have made this summer.
When we met for coffee near the Blazers' practice facility in Tualatin after one of Little's recent workout sessions, we talked for nearly an hour. That means there was way more stuff than I could use in the story I wrote last week, which mostly covered the "news" parts of what we talked about—his rehab and recovery from the shoulder and abdominal surgeries, goals for the coming season, thoughts about a potential contract extension and his assessment of the Blazers' offseason moves.
This is my site and I can do whatever I want as far as a word count, but I'm fully aware that a 10,000-word story would be too much to ask most people to hang in there for, especially in the dead part of the offseason that we're in now.
With that said, it was a great conversation that covered a lot of different topics that I think fans would be interested in reading about. Little is a smart and thoughtful guy with a wide variety of interests who cares about the people around him. We had talked here and there during the first part of his rookie season in 2019-20 before COVID hit, but it's been hard for us in the media to develop real relationships with the players we cover over the past two years because of the restrictions on in-person access. This kind of extended sit-down interview has been basically impossible in that time without involving Zoom, which is no substitute for just sitting at a table with someone and having a real face-to-face conversation like we did last week.
Among the things we talked about: Little's thoughts on some of the Blazers' offseason moves, including their two draft picks and the trade for Jerami Grant; his recovery from the same abdominal surgery Damian Lillard suffered last season, which completely escaped my notice at the time; and the work he does with the Nassir S. Little Youth Foundation.
(The conversation has been lightly edited for length and clarity.)