Five days after being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers, Powell says winning the NBA title gave him the confidence to push himself to improve and become a key player for the Trail Blazers playoffs.
“I attribute a lot to him. Obviously, as an NBA player you have to have confidence in yourself and in your ability to play against the best in the world, ”Powell said on OverDrive on Tuesday. “You look at my career and I made the playoffs a couple of times. But doing it with that team at that point, the way we did it, being called to the bigger stage, was very special.
The 27-year-old specifically thanked former teammate and Final MVP Kawhi Leonard for showing him what it takes to become a champion this season and beyond.
“I think a lot of it comes from the serpent’s head in Kawhi and his confidence in his abilities,” said Powell. “The way he went over there and put him on the line was the plan for young guys to come up with what it takes to be a champion and how to play at this championship level.
“I think it just impacted my work ethic. I always wanted to improve and succeed and [keep] looking for more. ”
Powell is the only Trail Blazers roster to win an NBA championship and says he’s ready to take on a leadership role at his new club in pursuit of the team’s first title since 1977.
” I think [my championship pedigree] is very beneficial. I really want to make that mark, especially on the defensive end, ”said Powell. “We have a lot of offensive firepower, but it has to come from the defensive end as well.
“I think I can definitely instill that pedigree of what it takes to win a championship on that side of the ball.”