The Portland Trail Blazers selected Jabari Walker with the 57th pick in the NBA Draft in the second round. Head coach of Portland and another former Colorado great Chauncey Billups made no secret about the excitement of getting another Colorado guy on the team. He had already averaged 14 points and 7 rebounds at the NBA Combine, and came in Thursday ready to carry that success over to the next level.
Walker only played 15 minutes of the game but game off the bench grabbing 7 rebounds and scoring 11 points. He went 5-for-5 from the field. One of those being a great three-point shot, something he honed well at Colorado.
Keon Johnson led all scorers for Portland scoring 21 points, 3 rebounds, and two steals. Brandon Williams followed just behind Johnson with 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Jabari Walker also had one incredible block. He was the only other Blazer to score double digits in the contest, in just half the amount of time on Thursday. The valiant effort by the young guys was still not enough for Portland as Jayden Ivey and Detroit was a little too much for them to handle at the end. Portland went down 78-81. Jabari explained after the game he had some first time jitters but after the first lay-up he settled in. It’s just basketball at the end of the day.
He is already fitting in well in the NBA, which is no surprise considering his genetics. Father Samaki Walker is an NBA Champion and giving his son all the knowledge it takes for success. Already off to a fine start and it’ll be interesting to see what he does with more playing time. Portland is no fresh face to former NBA sons following their father’s footsteps. The Trail Blazers now have 4 of them.
The journey of Jabari continues in Las Vegas tonight where the Portland Trail Blazers will take on the New Orleans Pelicans at 10 p.m. EST on ESPN2. Tune in to see if Jabari can get closer to his first professional double-double.