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Marcus Camby Makes Himself At Home During First Practice

  1. Written by: caseyholdahl  / avg. rating: 4.0

    In his first practice as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, Marcus Camby did what any good newcomer would do: he introduced himself.

    Did he shake hands? Tell a joke to break the ice? Talk a little about who he is and where he’s from? Hobbies, favorite foods, things like that? Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. No one mentioned whether those interactions took place. But what was referenced was the way Camby introduced himself to rookie Patty Mills.

    During a game of five-on-five between the “black” and “white” units, Patty Mills, running the point for white, went up for a layup, which Camby promptly rejected before the ball had time to get more than a few inches away from the young Australian’s hands.

    “(Camby) came down and threw one of Patty Mills’ shots out of here,” said Brandon Roy, who played alongside Camby in the first unit with Andre Miller, Martell Webster and LaMarcus Aldridge. “Patty tried to attack. I don’t know what he was thinking.”

    Mills might have forgotten that the Trail Blazers acquired one of the premier shot blockers in the NBA, but after getting that attempts rejected with extreme prejudice, he’s likely to remember the next time. Not that he’ll have to worry too much about getting shots spiked into the fifth row by his own teammate.

    Introductions out of the way, Camby said after practice that, more than anything, he was happy to be back out on the floor for the first time since the start of the All-Star break.

    “It’s good to finally get my feet wet,” said Camby. “I haven’t played or done anything since our last game when I was with the Clippers last Wednesday, so it felt good to get back out there… I always knew these guys were talented and gifted, even the guys on the bench. It feels good to actually be on their side now.”

    Camby looked at ease on the court despite being the new guy on the court, which speaks to his experience as a veteran with 13 years of NBA experience. But he also had a leg up, at least pertaining to his understanding of Nate McMillan’s system, due to the Trail Blazers’ playing being fresh in his mind.

    “I pretty much knew a majority of the plays before I got here,” said Camby. “I’m a big guy, I study a lot of plays. I’ve been in the league a very long time. Actually before that we were scouting against Portland when I was up here with the Clippers, so I pretty much got a grasp of things.”

    That understanding also goes beyond the court. While touring the Trail Blazers’ offices at the Rose Garden, Camby got a first-hand look at the way the team operates well before he put on a Portland practice jersey for the first time.

    “This is one of the better organizations that I’ve ever played with,” said Camby.  “Even going down the other day to basketball ops down at the Rose Garden, just seeing how they welcomed me and see how they take care of their own players. I haven’t experienced anything like that in a long time.”


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