Portis Returns from LeBron Camp With Newly Found Sense of Humor

Portis Returns from LeBron Camp With Newly Found Sense of Humor

Bobby Portis a funny man? Mike Anderson says it's part of the growth process Portis has undergone after a sometimes difficult first season on the Hill.
At times there wasn't much for Razorback freshman forward Bobby Portis to smile about in the 2014 basketball season. Head coach Mike Anderson told Hog fans many times that he'd never seen a player who wanted to win more than Portis. When the team went south to start the SEC race the highly touted Portis took it personally mainly because he was struggling too.

There was no evidence of that frustration this week as Portis sat down with reporters to talk about his time this summer at the LeBron James Skills Academy.

"You were there when he (James) was deciding where he would play next season. What was that like?" Portis was asked.

"He didn't say a word, really," Portis recalled. "I asked him a couple of times where he was going. He didn't say anything to me. He just took a couple of pictures and that was it."

"Did he say, 'None of your business' or did he just laugh? What did he say?" the reporter quizzed.

"No, he was like, 'Keep it moving young fella. Keep it moving young fella,' " Portis said as the press room at Bud Walton Arena erupted in laughter.

A bit later Anderson revealed that Portis had grown quite a bit since he was first measured and weighed upon arriving a year ago on campus as a rookie.

"You can see the size and the growth," Anderson marveled. (At the camp) "I think they measured him almost six-ten and a half, six-eleven."

"That was with my socks off," Portis revealed.

"So with shoes on you would be over six-eleven?" Portis was asked.

"Yeah," Portis acknowledged with a smile spreading across his face. "I'll probably be seven-one, probably."

Again the room filled with laughter.

"You can see he's more comfortable sitting in front of you guys," Anderson said of Portis' newly found sense of humor. "He's more confident and hopefully that's going be the statement of our whole team. We're a lot more mature."

Portis emerged from the LeBron Camp with some tangible basketball benefits as well.

"I think it helped me out a lot because I came back with a ton of confidence on the block," Portis stressed. "To score more on the block and just to play harder."

Junior teammate Michael Qualls was also invited the the LeBron camp. Portis said they both spotted something right away with the other campers, telling reporters, "Every person who was at the camp  is a leader on their team. Me and Mike need to come back and be leaders to our basketball team. I think last year that's something that we lacked in certain situations."

If Portis has the kind of season Anderson envisions this could be his last as a Razorback. The former McDonald's All American's name is already appearing on some pre-season watch lists. Can he help lead this team back to the NCAA tournament for the first time in seven years? If so Anderson hinted that it won't be just Portis who makes the difference.

"It's year four," Anderson proclaimed. "This will be the best team we've had here. The first year where top to bottom we've had our kind of players on the roster."







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