Nicolas Batum: "LaMarcus doesn't want to get traded, he wants the team to get better"

Nicolas Batum: "LaMarcus doesn't want to get traded, he wants the team to get better"


Nicolas Batum: "LaMarcus doesn't want to get traded, he wants the team to get better"

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How do you like the moves the Blazers have made this offseason?

NB: They've made some good moves. We improved our bench a lot. We kept the same starting lineup but they tried to strengthen our bench and that's good for us. Maurice Williams, Dorell Wright, Thomas Robinson… All those guys are good for us.

What was the best move this offseason?

NB: (Improving) the point guard position. Now we have three point guards like Damian [Lillard], who won Rookie of the Year last season, Maurice Williams, who can start on any team and will be a backup for us this season, Earl Watson

What is a realistic goal for you this season?

NB: I think the playoffs. We have to try to get a spot and we have the team to do it. Get a good spot and go from there.

Who do you think is going to be the No. 1 guy on the team?

NB: Although Damian had a great rookie season and has unbelievable talent and a bright future in front of him, I think LaMarcus [Aldridge] is our go-to guy. He is our franchise player. Damian may be a Top 10 point guard in the league right now, but LaMarcus is one of the best three power forwards and maybe No. 1.

There have been these rumors that he has privately demanded a trade from Portland…

NB: I heard that too and I laughed when I read that. He doesn't want to get traded, he wants the team to get better. LaMarcus is a winner.

He has told you that?

NB: I mean, I know that's what he wants. We had two bad seasons and missed the playoffs and wants the team to improve. I think he didn't ask for a trade. He wants to stay and win with the Blazers. He just wants a better team around him so we can get back to the playoffs.

I guess this summer was a little less stressful than the last one when you were a free agent.

NB: (Laughs) Yeah, it was. Last summer was different because I had to practice with the National Team and I had no insurance with the team so it was a big summer for me. This time I'm feeling better.

Did you feel any resentment from the fans because of the Minnesota thing?

NB: No, no, they know the business. Maybe during the process, yeah, somebody was a little bit mad… But I'm just so glad to stay there in Portland.

Do you see yourself playing there for the rest of your career?

NB: Maybe, maybe. I don't know, we'll see. I've been there five years, have three years left. That's eight years, it's hard to believe. We'll see.

I don't know if you read this interview with Jason Quick, the Blazers beat writer for The Oregonian. He talks about how he was pretty disappointed with the players and he mentions you specifically. Any comment on that?

NB: I heard about it. I don't really care about that. If he wants to talk about us like that… I don't really care, I don't focus on that. He's just a guy who left and got a job somewhere else. He's not with the team, I don't really care what he says about this. It's not my problem.

Did you have a good relationship with him?

NB: Yeah, yeah, I try to have a good relationship with every guy in the media in Portand. He left and got another job and now he talks about us… I don't really care.

What's your goal individually for this season?

NB: Me? Just try to get better, be a top option for my team and help the team make the playoffs.

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