Porter backs out of Vegas skills camp

Porter backs out of Vegas skills camp
August 15, 2013, 7:00 am
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The last time Otto Porter found himself in Las Vegas, it didn't end well.

The rookie small forward, drafted No. 3 overall by the Wizards in June, backed out of Tim Grgurich's annual, highly regarded yet secretive NBA skills camp in the city, CSN Washington has learned. Glen Rice, the Wizards' other rookie, still attended.

As many as 70 players will participate each year, but it is done away from the public eye and details about what happens and exactly where it is being held are sketchy at best.

Most of the players are young, but veterans will show up, too. Kevin Love (Timberwolves), James Harden (Rockets), Brandon Jennings (Pistons), Eric Gordon (Pelicans) and Paul Pierce (Nets) have appeared in recent years.

Grgurich, a long-time NBA assistant coach, prefers to work under the radar and forbids participants from speaking publicly about what goes on there.

But what happens is significant instruction from one of the game's best teachers. It's not just a primer for players, but assistant coaches get a chance to show their talents in front of team executives who are in attendance as well.

Porter has had tightness in his right hamstring since the Wizards had mini-camp in July, before they competed in Las Vegas summer league play. It forced Porter, the highest drafted player to participate, to miss almost three full games of competition. He missed 21 of 30 shots, made no impression as a result of the injury and played mostly out of position at shooting guard.

It isn't known if his injury was a contributing factor in Porter skipping the event, but it is unlikely. The hamstring tightness hasn't hindered Porter's training with the Wizards since summer league.

Meanwhile at Verizon Center, Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin have been training all week with Wizards assistant coach Don Newman while head coach Randy Wittman took a vacation. 

Seraphin, a 6-8 backup center, has been a constant all summer after he bypassed on training with his French national team and opted for individual workouts with Wittman and his staff.

Training camp begins Sept. 28 at George Mason University in nearby Fairfax, Va.