This is my comfort zone. This is my safe space. We go to war together. We’re in the trenches together. We’re battling together. So then you get that extra chemistry. You get that extra connection with them. But no, they would definitely tell you, other than that, I’m pretty quiet. On the bus, I don’t really talk.
You’ve talked about feeling overlooked in the past, in spite of your sterling basketball résumé, because you don’t do as much media. You don’t do the red carpet stuff. You’re not doing commercials and interviews.
Exactly. Is there a part of you that wishes you did more of that?
No. I am who I am, and I don’t have any regrets of the things I’ve done with my career as far as more cameos. When I was in “Portlandia,” that was fun. I did, like, little things that I thought would be fun for me. But no, I don’t regret that, because that’s not really my brand. I’m more about hard hat and just go to work.
Chris Bosh, after he retired early, talked about how, in retirement, one of the hardest things to come to grips with is not having a full schedule anymore. And not being around teammates or cheered by fans. And the guys that were texting you every day and aren’t texting you as much because you’re not part of the crew anymore. How did you deal with that?
I’m to myself more than most, so the guys not texting me didn’t affect me. I don’t really text with guys now. But the whole traveling and your schedule, you have to figure out how to do it, how to fill that void. Because if you don’t, you end up feeling lost and kind of like, “What’s next?” That was very, very tough.
Your first week or two is tough, because you go from busy, busy, busy to just — your phone’s quiet. Not even just from teammates. Just like, “Be at practice” or “Be at shootaround.” It goes from that to just this tranquil quietness that you could enjoy, but you’re also uncomfortable with, because you never had it.
You’ve said you’ve talked to Damian Lillard about finishing your career in Portland. That seems to suggest to me that there may be some more years left after this one. Is that fair to say?
I’m going year to year, but I definitely, how I feel now, how I’m moving now, I definitely have some more years in me. I feel rejuvenated, refreshed and just ready to go.