Title: ‘It’s not going to happen again’: Norman Powell vows to avoid repeat of rough year
Date: October 5, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, I wrote about Norman Powell’s difficult 2017-18 season and what he changed to try to avoid a 2018-19 repeat.
It took some hounding from new Raptors 905 head coach Jama Mahlelea before Norman Powell could let go of his difficult 2017-18 season.
A long-time advocate of Powell’s game Mahlalela, witnessed the UCLA product’s struggles closely. In turn, Powell called Mahlalela his “voice of reason.” Powell had established his foothold in the NBA by grinding his way from an unheralded recruit to second-round pick to key piece of the Toronto Raptors future. A down year meant locking himself back in the gym and figuring things out through sweat equity.
Powell’s mantra has always been to keep moving. It’s a great approach and work ethic to have — in a vacuum. In Powell’s case, it hid the underlying root of his struggles, and Mahlalela got to work convincing Powell to adjust his approach. That meant a visit to Powell’s new home base in Las Vegas, complete with some of their usual workouts. It also meant a conversation where Mahlalela told Powell to get away for a breather, to take a second vacation of the summer. The hope was to have Powell come at the problem of how to get back to where he was — on the court, in the rotation and in his head — differently.