According to his father, Gary Trent Jr was depressed and under a lot of negative pressure during his stint with the Portland Trail Blazers.
During the 2020-2021 season trade deadline, Gary Trent Jr. was part of a deal that sent him from Portland to join the Toronto Raptors. GTJ was a decent off-the-bench option for Damian Lillard and co., who looked comfortable in leading the Blazers’ second unit.
However, under the mentorship of coach Nick Nurse and vets like Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam, Trent Jr. has not only been performing incredibly well lately, he is visibly happier. Now, in the 60 games he has suited up the Canadian team, the former Duke Blue Devil has averaged a respectable 17.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists on an impressive 42.1/38.8/81 shooting split.
Recently, Gary Trent was brutally honest in talking about his son’s stint with the Blazers franchise. And the former 9-year veteran wasn’t shy from getting brutally honest while ripping the franchise.
“God bless that my son won on that deal to get in a better opportunity”: Gary Trent Sr. on Gary Trent Jr.
Making an appearance on Sportsnet’s “The Raptors Show”, Gary Trent Sr. spoke about his son’s mental well-being with the Raptors, and how he was “depressed” during his time in Portland. He further added:
“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.”
A former Trail Blazer himself, Trent spoke about the Raptors winning the Norman Powell-Gary Trent Jr trade.
“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.”
Clearly, getting traded away by the Blazers seems to have been the best thing that could’ve happened to GTJ.
While Portland further traded away Norman Powell away to the Clippers a few days back, the 23-year-old Raptor now plays a huge role in Nick Nurse’s rotation.