We chopped it up with the Portland Trail Blazers guard to discuss his recent purchases, getting recognition from the game’s greatest, and his love for Call of Duty.
Nice Kicks: You went from hooping with IMG Academy to now entering your fifth season at just 23 years old. What’s that transition been like?
Anfernee Simons: It’s been a rollercoaster. Obviously, I came into the league young so [I’ve been] growing up a lot. I’m around a whole bunch of adults all day, making my money, and living in my own house — it’s a pretty crazy transition for me. It’s been fun.
Each and every year I grow in some area in my life and translate it to basketball. Each and every year I try to get better at something.
NK: The hard work is paying off. It wasn’t that long ago that LeBron James was showing you love on Twitter during one of your hot-hand performances. What was that like, knowing LeBron James is watching and recognizing your game?
AS: It’s cool [to get that recognition] from one of the greatest players of all time. Seeing that he sees my game was a cool moment.
NK: You mentioned finally making your money and the responsibility that comes with it. What are your sneaker-buying habits like now that you’re in the league? Any regrettable purchases? Any recent pick-ups?
AS: Throughout the week, I buy a lot of shoes. Other than that, I don’t regret any. I know I like that shoe, and I’m going to like it.
I got another pair of the black Union 4s and the one that kind of looks like the Lakers.
NK: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is finally out. Growing up with the game, what’s it like to play it again and to be a part of the CoD family for its rollout?
AS: It’s been good. Remastering what people consider one of the their favorite Call of Duty games is good. I played it last week when it came out.
I had the most memories on MW2. I think it’s different from the last one and they’re bringing back all the classic guns on there. I like the movement, and it’s not as fast-paced, but it’s just enough.
NK: What’s your go-to class and game-play strategy?
AS: Off the rip, I’ve been using the TAQ-56. The Aug is pretty good and the SMGs too. Those are the three ones I think everyone is going to be using at some point.
I like to play fast. I don’t like to sit around and wait and camp. It depends on who I’m playing with, but usually, as soon as the game starts, I try to get right in the mix before. I love throwing semtex too. That’s my go-to for sure.
NK: What would your Call of Duty NBA Dream Team look like?
AS: De’Aaron Fox, and Booker — [they’re] the two players that I’ve seen that are pretty good. You can just tell based on how they move around the game. You don’t even have to look at them shoot a gun, you can just see how they move around.
NK: Do you have a favorite Call of Duty title? Additionally, do you have a favorite map to play on?
AS: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is my favorite for sure. I like Modern Warfare; Black Ops 1; I like Modern Warfare 3 too. I like Ghost a little bit. I don’t think I played Advance Warfare as much. I play a lot.
Off the top of my head, Terminal and Scrapyard [are] for sure [my favorite maps]. Obviously, you have Nuketown and Rust — Rust is a fan-favorite in general. I’ve been playing for a minute.
Be on the lookout for Anfernee on the court and on CoD throughout the rest of the season.
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