Blazers’ Deandre Ayton Credits Doubters For Improved Play: ‘I Thank These Haters For It’

During an interview with NBA reporter Casey Holdahl, Portland Trail Blazers center Deandre Ayton credited his doubters for his improved play. 

Deandre Ayton, Blazers, NBA
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Ayton is averaging 24.2 points and 15.3 rebounds over his last six games. 

“I listen and I hear it and I love it,” Ayton said of his doubters. “I thank these haters for it, cause it’s making me approach this game in the right way and carry the PDX on my back all the way. So I thank them. I’m wearing the cape all the way.”

In his first season with the Blazers, Ayton is averaging 15.3 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 57.7% from the field and 82.5% from the free-throw line. He has 24 double-doubles. 

“Just playing hard, man. Approaching the game the way I want to approach it,” Ayton said. “Every night’s a big night playing with these guys and getting to know them and just being out there with them and battling. That’s all I can say, that’s what lead to it to be honest.”

The Blazers are 19-46. They have the second-worst record in the Western Conference.

However, Ayton is keeping a winning mentality. 

“I just be trying to bust that ass. That’s about it,” Ayton said. “Whether I look like the bad guy or not, I’m trying to be great. I’m trying to be a winner in this league. I’m trying to be known as that guy. If you’re around me, you’re going to learn how to win.”

The Phoenix Suns drafted Ayton with the first overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Ayton was traded to the Blazers last summer.

“I feel like coming into these games, I’m trying to do everything,” Ayton said. “Not only do my requirements, my role for this team, but do a lot more. That’s where I’m at. I’m more dominant. People like to laugh at it but it’s the truth.”

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