Blazers’ Smith: ‘I Never Think The Worst’

By Drew Packham,

LAS VEGAS — Portland guard Nolan Smith was all smiles Saturday, four days after being carted off the court on a stretcher on the same Cox Pavilion floor.

Smith, who suffered a concussion and was taken to the hospital after a hard foul, talked about the play and the thoughts running through his head while he was on the ground.

“I was definitely out of it, but I was just listening to the doctors,” Smith said. “I wanted to walk away, but they kept telling me I had to stay down.

“I never think the worst,” the second-year guard said. “I always try to stay positive. They just said it was a procedure they had to do and I kept telling myself I’d be walking out of the hospital.”

Smith did walk out of the hospital later that night after tests came back normal, but said he had to calm down his mom and older sister.

“My sister was crying, especially the way they had to cover me up and stabilize me,” Smith said. “They were scared, you know, and at one point I finally just said. ‘I’m OK.’ She didn’t like seeing little brother like that.”

Smith sat out the Blazers’ final three Summer League games and will wait at least a week before getting back on the court to prepare for the upcoming season.

The Duke product enters his second season hoping to see more playing time in the backcourt after a rookie campaign in which he played 44 games, averaging 3.8 points in 12.3 minutes.

“I just can’t wait to get back on the court,” Smith said. “From there, I’ll just keep playing with the same confidence and just being aggressive. That’s when I’m at my best. This injury isn’t going to slow me down.”

In two games in Las Vegas, Smith averaged 18.5 points on 58.3 percent shooting and had 27 points, five rebounds and five assists against the Rockets before the injury.

“I showed myself and the organization who I am as a player in just two games,” Smith said.


  1. Zach Gillette says:

    When Meyers Leonard get’s taught how to be a big man, he will be a BEAST.

  2. anORinSgp says:

    Portland is solid with Lillard and Nolan at PG. The team needs to get Meyers Leonard up to speed a lot faster if they want to be competitive. There’s no viable plan B in regard to the center position for Blazers. Rather than playing Joel Pryzbilla and the new center they just acquired, they might as well play Leonard right away and have LaMarcus, Matthews, Batum and Lillard carry the team; and use Joel only if Meyers looks confused on the court. By Jan/Feb, Meyers will be decent. He has a purpose to be in the NBA having brought up by a single mother and he is a determined and athletic player. He won’t disappoint anyone.

  3. Fefe (Nets) says:

    He IS a good player. It’s just about getting an opportunity right now.

  4. BlazerPhil says:

    Whew ! Way to go Nolan !! Glad all’s cool with you , .. keep it coming man !

  5. Domes says:

    Glad Smitty’s okay! He and Dame Lillard are going to be a great PG combo for PDX in the years to come!

  6. Poohdini025 says:

    Nolan Smith is a great player always looking for the positive out everything. That is a trait to admire. Good luck to him.

  7. ninjasports says:

    Nolan Smith looks like he could potentially be a good player, but it is way too early to tell. Either way, he plays hard and will put his body on the line to make a play.