Off-peak times oblige, TrashTalk has taken the habit each summer of making you relive with emotion the greatest moments of the past season. Except in 2021, because in the summer of 2021 know that the editorial team came very close to surrendering, but that’s another story. So we go back to the good old formula, we go back a few months, and we remember that this 2021-22 season was crazy, from the first day to the last. Today ? The night Anfernee Simons caught fire and knocked out the Hawks, in tribute to his grandfather who died the day before the game.
There are nights like that. Evenings when basketball is no longer a profession, no longer a game, but a means of expression. It is in these situations that the human sublimates himself: when his art allows him to express himself. This January 3, 2021, Anfernee Simons needed to talk. It was through the orange ball that he did it. With a poetic language for observers, with too incisive an edge for its defenders. Let’s put some context. Jake Carter – grandfather of the rear of the Blazers – is then seriously ill. Pancreatic cancer. He will die the day before a Blazers game. This match, Anfernee Simons must participate, but the context is not really in his favor. COVID protocol just finished, and above all immense pain to have lost one of the main actors in his life. Here too, let’s go back. The boy’s maternal grandfather, Jake Carter used to take care of Anfernee during his youth. Once he became a basketball player, Simons used to see him in the stands, since Mr. Carter moved as soon as the opportunity presented itself. The relationship was special, the loss is all the more painful.
At the Moda Center, the place of the grandfather is no longer occupied. However, everything indicates that he was present that evening. No, we won’t talk about ghosts or poltergeists, we prefer to leave that to Scooby Doo and his team. In the spirit and in the heart of Anfernee, this is where this person who meant so much took refuge. He himself will admit it later, in a spirit of course very symbolic but which will not detract from the exceptional performance achieved that evening.
“There was something different today. I knew in the back of my mind that this was going to be a great night. I knew it was going to be a great night because he was there. My grandpa was there to help me. »
– Anfernee Simons.
One would expect from anyone that such an event would be something difficult to overcome, at the very least very sad. All this sadness that Simons may have felt, it was the Hawks who took it in the truffle. When the match starts, AS is not expected to be beyond his classic level. Especially since opposite, it is nothing less than Trae Young who will send heavy. No, the evening is not going to be particularly simple on a sporting level, and even less on a personal level. Yet it is with surprising confidence given the circumstances that Anfernee enters the game: 2/3 from the parking lot in the first quarter alone, and already an Atlanta team in pain when it comes to keeping him. We will not say that this is laxity on the part of the Falcons, far from it. At that time, Anfernee Simons is already known to the rest of the NBA for small hot shots around twenty points. What these same Falcons did not know, however, is that the kid of the Blazers was going to stick a family rouste on them, for the family precisely. The second quarter will again be very good for Sim’ and the boy is now 4/7 in shooting. Ease, confidence and above all will, this is what we note when the two teams return to the locker room.
Anfernee Simons also dedicated tonight’s match to his grandfather, who passed away yesterday.
43 points at 9/13 from three points.
— TrashTalk (@TrashTalk_fr) January 4, 2022
It was mentioned a little above, but Anfernee will not be the only hot boy of the evening. Opposite, Trae Young is literally having fun with the Blazers defense, and will send 56 into the Portland ganache in total. His career best… in a loss? Unfortunately, that will be the case for him. Simons is very very strong in the contribution of points this evening there, and the third then fourth Quarter will confirm it in their turn. You know it though: it’s hard to win a basketball game on your own. That’s why, in addition to a record 43 point outing for him and for the Blazers, who had never seen a 22-year-old break the 40-point mark, Anfernee finished as his team’s top passer with seven gifts for colleagues. The basket is closed? Eh no worries huh, grab this Jusuf and enjoy! In the end, the Blazers will overpower this great Atlanta team 136-131. A nice way to temporarily get out of the ambient slump that then reigns over Oregon: rotten results, management in full swing and above all great uncertainty around Damian Lillard. This match will have been the opportunity for everyone to breathe a little, while celebrating the historic evening of their young nugget. For the latter, our words may be good to describe her match, but let her feel it.
“I entered the field with a heavy heart, but with a clear mind as to what I had to do. I wanted to play my game and be the best I could for him.”
Anfernee Simons needed to express himself, to pay tribute to someone who was very important to him. With such a performance, this person can probably go away with peace of mind… proud of his contribution to the hatching of one of the most promising shoots in the NBA.
Source: Oregonlive.com, ESPN