Back in 2020, young stud Gary Trent Jr. emerged as a major contributor to the Portland Trail Blazers. In his breakout season, he averaged 15.3 points and 2.6 rebounds on 38% shooting from downtown.
He looked to be a long-term fixture for the franchise before he was suddenly traded during the 2020-21 campaign.
And now that he's free from the Blazers, his father, Gary Trent Sr., sees no reason to hide the truth about his son's time there. In a recent interview, the former Blazer went off on the team and revealed that GTJ was miserable before his relocation to Toronto.
“My son played with so much pain, and my son was so depressed and so down and so sad in Portland, that watching him play actually used to hurt me,” said the former Raptors forward. “I knew my son wasn’t feeling himself, wasn’t playing his game, he was under a lot of negative pressure [from] negative statements from front-office people.”
“When I come and visit my son now in Toronto, he’s in a much happier place mentally, spiritually, and he smiles more,” he said. “He’s looking forward to practice, he’s looking forward to the games, and I can see the love for the game blossoming within him again.”
“They don’t really have a plan, and I don’t think they’ve made the right decisions over there,” the 47-year-old said. “My son is five, six years younger than Norm, which means he’s got a lot more time and a lot more upside, so to me, the Raptors won that deal, and God bless that my son won on that deal to get in a better opportunity.”
Say what you want about Trent, but his son has blossomed since becoming a Raptor. Through 42 games this season, he's averaging a career-high 18.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.
And while Toronto is overachieving with a 28-23 record, the Blazers are among the worst teams in the West and sit at 11th in their Conference.
Perhaps it's time for GM Joe Cronin and majority owner Jody Allen to re-evaluate the culture of their team.