6’10 wing forward Michael Porter is considered by NBA scouts as the clear cut favorite to be the number one pick in the 2018 draft. He’s considered by many scouts to be the best wing prospect since Kevin Durant (in 10 years), and scouts have gone so far as to say he would likely be the number one pick in this year’s (2017) NBA draft if he were eligible.
Porter earned MVP of the 2017 McDonald’s All American Game, leading all scorers with 17 points. We got the chance to catch up with him twice during the showcase games and came away thoroughly impressed with his authenticity, maturity and professionalism. Porter talked about his relationship with Brandon Roy, playing against Stephen Curry, and heading back home to Missouri.
Here is the first of two interviews:
NBADraft.net: How has Chicago been for you so far?
Michael Porter: I love it up here. This is a dream come true for me, the McDonald’s All American camp. It couldn’t get any better than this for me so I’m enjoying every moment.
NBADraft.net: What separates you from your peers playing in this game?
Michael Porter: Everybody here’s a great player but me, I just feel like I’m the most versatile player. I can play almost any position so I feel like that’s what separates me.
NBADraft.net: Who’s the best player you’ve ever played against?
Michael Porter: The best player I’ve ever played against…got to be Stephen Curry. We played one on one, I mean he couldn’t guard me, he’s too little but he’s the best player I’ve ever played against.
NBADraft.net: Could you guard him?
Michael Porter: We were playing King of the Hill. He only shot on me twice, after that I got on a roll and I didn’t come off the court. But he missed both shots so what can I say.
NBADraft.net: What was your reaction to Coach Romar being fired? Were you blindsided?
Michael Porter: I definitely wasn’t anticipating Romar being fired. I think everyone was expecting them to give him another year for sure to see what our class could do but I try to just embrace it. I mean whatever happens, I know God’s got me. It was an emotional time. That changed my life. I was committed to Washington and the coaching staff, that was a big change so it was hard.
NBADraft.net: How was it playing for Brandon Roy your senior year?
Michael Porter: I mean it was a perfect situation. I couldn’t have asked for a better story than that. That was his first year coaching, my first year at the school. None of us players knew each other then we all come together and start playing and had a perfect season. I learned a ton from Brandon on and off the court. He taught me a lot of things and I feel like I took my game to the next level this past year so it’s been great. He helped me with my footwork. He was a masterful scorer so he helped me with my efficiency, with my dribbles, and my footwork. Also, my post-up game and just ways of thinking about the game.
NBADraft.net: Do you think you will still keep in touch with him?
Michael Porter: Yeah for sure, for sure. We got really close over this past eight months or so, so I’ll definitely keep in touch with him.
NBADraft.net: How do you feel about playing for your dad?
Michael Porter: Well I know my dad very well and I know he has the best interest for me. I trust him. He’s a great guy. He cares about me and the other players he will be coaching on and off the court so it’s just a perfect situation.
NBADraft.net: How do you feel about coming back home (playing at Missouri)?
Michael Porter: I’m excited to come back home. I had been in Missouri since I think the summer going into the sixth grade I moved here, so I became very familiar with the area and got a lot of friends there so I’m excited.
NBADraft.net: What do you want to add or work on before you go to college?
Michael Porter: Just my all-around game, I’m trying to get better at everything: my strength, my ballhandling, my shooting, my midrange game, all of that.
NBADraft.net: What’s been the biggest moment of your career so far?
Michael Porter: The biggest moment…I would have to say winning Gatorade Player of the Year is my biggest individual accomplishment but McDonald’s All American is my biggest experience so far.
NBADraft.net: If you could go back and give advice to a ninth grade Michael Porter what would you say?
Michael Porter: I would tell him to start playing defense.
NBADraft.net: Does 12th grade Michael Porter play defense?
Michael Porter: Sometimes.