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2023 FIBA World Cup

Bobby Portis: RHJ’s NBA comeback is within reach, ‘He’s back now’

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s emergence in the FIBA Basketball World Cup for Jordan has opened the door to a possible NBA comeback.

After being out of the league for three years, Hollis-Jefferson showcased to the world, including NBA teams, how he has reinvented his game as a dominant scorer and an all-around player for the Falcons.

Following Team USA’s 110-62 victory against Jordan on Wednesday, Bobby Portis Jr. commented that RHJ has a significant opportunity to make an NBA return based on his recent performances.

“He has a hell of a chance. I just told him that he back now,” said Portis, who had a long conversation with RHJ after the game at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

“Life is all about facing adversities and facing challenges. I think my guy has did that. Obviously, he’s been out the league for some time now but he kept [working hard], didn’t give up, his game elevated and I think guys are gonna take notice,” added the Milwaukee Bucks sixth man in a conversation with Inquirer’s Celest Flores.

FIBA-WC-USA-vs.-JRD-Brunson-and-Hollis-Jefferson Bobby Portis: RHJ's NBA comeback is within reach, 'He's back now' 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball News  - philippine sports news

Although winless in the first round, RHJ played exceptionally well and demonstrated immense effort for Jordan, averaging 27.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.7 steals over three games.

Portis and RHJ share a longstanding connection, dating back to when they were part of the same high school class in 2013. As elite prospects during that period, both were members of the same McDonald’s All-American team and Nike Hoops Summer team.

They both entered the 2015 NBA draft, with Portis being selected by Chicago with the 22nd pick and RHJ following suit at the 23rd pick.

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“That’s like my brother. I’ve known him for over 12, 13, 15 years now man when we were about 13, 14 years old you know we’re both 28 now we’re getting kinda old now,” said Portis about his history with Hollis-Jefferson.

“It’s fun to see just to have friends in the league that you grow with. Basketball is a family.”

Portis supported his belief that his long-time friend might secure a spot on an NBA roster for the upcoming season by pointing to Dennis Schroder’s experience last year.

Schroder found himself without a team during the 2022 free agency after his stints with Boston and Houston the previous season. However, his standout performance for Germany in the 2022 EuroBasket in September garnered NBA attention just a month before the season began.

On September 16, the Los Angeles Lakers re-signed Schroder with a one-year $2.64 million deal. In July, he further re-emerged as a valued player, signing a two-year, $26 million deal with Toronto.

2023-FIBA-WC-Germany-vs-Australia-Dennis-Schroder-1 Bobby Portis: RHJ's NBA comeback is within reach, 'He's back now' 2023 FIBA World Cup Basketball News  - philippine sports news


“I know Dennis Schroder got back to the league last year doing the same type of event and hopefully the same thing goes for Rondae,” said Portis.

“I’m cheering for him. That’s my brother for life.”

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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