Montrealer Luguentz Dort has touched on several disciplines this summer, in preparation for the NBA season.
“I did a bit of everything,” said the Quebecer on the phone Monday, during media day in the Silver circuit. I did a bit of boxing, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu, in addition to soccer and tennis. For conditioning, but also for the fun and energy of trying other sports. “
“In basketball, I want to be more efficient,” added Dort on the eve of the start of training camps. Be more of a leader and a game maker, while having good footwork. “
Last season, the Oklahoma City Thunder had a respectable record after about 40 games, before plummeting due to numerous injuries, among other things. But Dort hopes to see the team show good things in 2021-2022.
“Just the fact that everyone is healthy is going to help,” he said. We are a young and hungry team, which will be ready to compete in every game. Whether we win or lose, we will have given everything by fighting as hard as we can. “
An important element of the young nucleus of the Thunder, the athlete from Montreal-North received a medal from the National Assembly on August 27, for his civic engagement and his successes in the NBA. Two days later, he held a youth camp at Barthélémy-Vimont school, in Parc-Extension.
He has already completed two seasons with Oklahoma City.
He was not drafted in 2019. But soon after a long, painful night in the draft in Brooklyn, the Thunder awarded him a two-pronged deal, which became a regular contract.
He quickly won over his new supporters with his hard work, especially in defense. He is very often called upon to counter the opponent’s best pointer.
Replay in front of fans
This audience will also be back at the newly renamed Paycom Center, after a total absence of supporters in 2020-2021. “It’s going to be ‘fun’ to play in front of fans again,” Dort said. Our supporters are passionate. Not only are we fine booster, but it will do good for the community. “
In May 2020, Dort, on social media, encouraged young people to follow government guidelines, in connection with the pandemic. The following month, with Brookwood Elite, a program he was a part of, Dort helped distribute shoes and meals at the Jewish General Hospital.
He would also have signed, in June 2020, a four-year contract in the amount of 5.4 million dollars, according to what has been reported.
In their debut season, his team reached the playoffs and struggled hard against the Rockets in the first round. In Game 7, Dort had victory at their fingertips, but James Harden blocked what could have been a triumphant three-point shot. He still had 30 points in that game – an NBA record for a 7.e match in a player 21 years of age or under.
In his second season, Dort increased his points-per-game average from 6.8 to 14.
He was named to the NBA Rising All-Star World Team in March.
Brio for three point shots
On April 13, Dort set a personal high with 42 points in Utah. From Jan. 10 to 22, he posted a 46% success rate for three-pointers during a six-game streak. From March 18 to April 18, Dort managed 44% of his long-distance shots over eight games. For the season as a whole, he led the Thunder with 113 three-pointers.
“I work on three-pointers very consistently,” said Dort. I can’t wait to put that into action this season. “
In April and May, the Thunder posted a 2-23 record, due in part to the absence of their star player, Ontarian Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who suffered a right foot injury. In early August, Gilgeous-Alexander also agreed to a long-term deal with the Thunder.
Head coach Mark Daigneault is in his second season with Oklahoma City. He managed the club’s G League subsidiary for a long time before taking up an assistant position with the Thunder in 2019-2020.
“He helped me a lot at the start,” said Dort. He was really comfortable with me since I started with a two-pronged contract. This was the case with many of our players. “
“When I knew he was going to be the head coach, I was really happy, because we already had a good relationship. He knows my background, he knows what it’s like to start in the G League before entering the NBA. We have a very good relationship. We really don’t have to worry about talking to each other, and that’s a big plus. “
The Thunder will play four preseason games before entering the regular season on October 20 in Utah.