Great Britain forward Joel Freeland has confessed his frustration at being a bit-part player in the opening month of his NBA career.
The Portland Trailblazers rookie, who switched from Malaga in the summer on a three-year £6 million contract, has featured in only seven of his new team’s 15 games so far in the regular season, averaging a paltry 0.9 points and 2 rebounds.
It is not what the Surrey-born hopeful expected when he arrived in Oregon fresh from some impressive performances in the Olympic Games.
And he admits that there has been a steep learning curve in adjusting to the athleticism of the NBA.
“It’s been slow,” Freeland told The Oregonian. “And to be honest, I’ve been frustrated with myself, because I hold high expectations for myself and I know what I’ve done in the past and what I’m capable of doing. I kind of expected to continue what I was doing in Spain.”
Freeland has struggled with his shooting, going a hideous 1-18 to date. The Blazers coaching staff are remaining patient with their signing and he believes there is much more to come.
“Every time I’m on the court, I feel like I’m learning something,” Freeland said. “I’ve got to take this as a learning year and just keep progressing. And at the end of the day, that’s what this is: a process.
“I’ve signed a three-year contract and I’ve got time to improve and I’ve got time to learn. And I want to learn. I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing, keep working hard and stay happy. What else can I do?”
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