Otto Porter Jr. won his first NBA championship with Golden State before joining the Raptors in the offseason. Toronto's newest recruit believes his new team shares basketball philosophies with the Warriors and he's keen to share his experience with his teammates.
OTTO PORTER JR.: Like Thad said, we've got a bunch of young guys that-- hungry. They're ready to do whatever it takes. And by having an extra vet to help Thad out with the guys-- they're already picking our brains, you know, first day. They want to get to that [? leader ?] level.
And it's our job to pass down information that I got from Golden State or from my previous years playing. We definitely want to share that with the younger generation.
- Have they asked you about your experience last year?
OTTO PORTER JR.: Oh, for sure, for sure.
- What do you tell them?
OTTO PORTER JR.: I just told them how it was-- working every day, being a true professional. And what that is is getting your work in, and taking care of what you've got to take care of.
- On that note, this was a team that sort of struggled in the halfcourt offense last year. There's obviously only one Steph. There's only one Draymond.
OTTO PORTER JR.: Mm-hmm.
- But what can you take away about how to play offensively in the halfcourt from that experience?
OTTO PORTER JR.: I mean, just ball movement, player movement, ball movement. I mean, you've got to keep the defense-- shifting 'em on the defensive side. And that's within our offense-- getting stops. It starts with getting stops, and getting out on break.
When we do get into the halfcourt, it's just about taking our time, getting to our spots, moving, just keep continuing to move the ball.
- As a guy who's not as ball-dominant as some of the other guys on the team, how do you show that? Is that just by your own movement, or is it by making the next pass? Like, how do you sort of help that process along on the court?
OTTO PORTER JR.: I mean, our coach, he emphasize attacking, attacking mentality. You get an edge on defense, explore it to create for yourself or create for others. And that's what we're going to do this year.
- You see a lot of philosophical similarities between Toronto and Golden State, the way they play?
OTTO PORTER JR.: Yeah, I mean, especially defensively, all over the place, switching a lot. You know, with this lineup, very versatile. Anybody that comes in can play at all positions, pretty much. And that's going to help for sure.
- How about organizationally, similarities to Golden State and Toronto, the way the organizations run themselves?
OTTO PORTER JR.: You know, it's a high class organization. They take pride in what they do here-- a big reason why I came here, but yeah.
- Leadership sort of sets a standard for-- management sets a standard for the way the players--
OTTO PORTER JR.: Mm-hmm.
- --comport themselves, presumably the same way in San Francisco?
OTTO PORTER JR.: Yeah, it starts from the top. It starts from the top. And then it trickles all the way down to the players, all the way down to everybody that's stepping on the court. So it's amazing to be a part of the Toronto organization. I think they're definitely a high class-- you know, bunch of great characters, great guys. Happy to be here.
- Does this feel like a deep team to you? Like, when you kind of look at who's on the floor so far, and--
OTTO PORTER JR.: Yeah, definitely, definitely. I mean, we got depth. We got depth. What the guys were able to do last year, they want to build on it. And we can definitely do that.
- Otto, you called Toronto a high class organization. When you were a Washington Wizard earlier in your career, maybe it wasn't seen as such a high class organization as it is now. What have you kind of seen change with the way that the org is viewed within the league, and kind of with you as a free agent making that decision to come here?
OTTO PORTER JR.: I mean, Toronto always wanted to grow. They continue to grow. They got newer guys in every year, trying to get better. The guys that they had stepped up in big ways. And it shows today.
- You've seen a lot of good young players come and go in this league. And any early impressions on Scottie? I mean, it's only one workout, but anything that jumped out?
OTTO PORTER JR.: No, I've been working out with him all summer, so--
- OK, all right.
OTTO PORTER JR.: --no, very talented, a very smart player. You know, he's the future over here. He's going to do all right for himself. He's a hard worker. He's the first one in the gym every day. So he's going to be all right.
- When you say a smart player, like, what kind of-- how do you kind of assess that? What jumps out at you, especially with a guy who's so young?
OTTO PORTER JR.: Attention to detail, believe it or not. At his age, he's seen a lot of basketball. So just the little things he do on the court, it's like-- at his age, you're not supposed to know that, you know? So he's a step-- he's a step ahead.
- Just like knowing when to hold a screen or slip it, or--
OTTO PORTER JR.: I can't really put a [? T ?] on it. But just being out there on the court with him and playing against him, he has knowledge of the game.
- Feels easy?
OTTO PORTER JR.: Yeah.
- Otto, do you get a sense with this training camp in Victoria, exhibition games in Montreal then, do you get the sense this is a team with a national following, and not just a city following?
OTTO PORTER JR.: Oh, definitely a national following, definitely. It's very unique, you know? I've never been a part of that. So just to be here, it's a blessing.
- Otto, you've played with a lot of great leaders over your years. How would you describe your style of veteran leadership?
OTTO PORTER JR.: From what I've seen, it's just lead by example. That's the biggest thing. The head guys put in the work, you know? And that's where it starts.
Young guys see the older guys putting in more work than them, you know something's not right. So that's just by leading by example.
- You mentioned that time you spent with Scottie in the summer. Did your summer change because you switched teams? Did it become a little more intensive?
OTTO PORTER JR.: Yeah, I mean, because I went far in the summer, it was a little different. But I was able to just pick right back up where I left off, so--
- And how did that work out with Scottie? Was that an agent thing, or is that a--
OTTO PORTER JR.: No, that's just us getting together in Vegas, Summer League, stuff like that, so.