Damian Lillard has played for the Portland Trail Blazers for his entire professional career and has no intention of leaving. Lillard stated that he still intends to play out the remainder of his career in Portland during a recent interview on the Dave Pasch Podcast.
“I do. When asked if he still saw himself concluding his career with the Blazers, Lillard responded, “I do. “Man, you’ve got to get out of there,” folks have said to me more than once. You must complete both of these tasks. But I’m not the kind of person who will ever march to the beat of anyone else’s drum.
Lillard went on to say “I want to triumph. In Portland, I want to triumph. To accomplish it here would mean something to me. This is an example of me remaining true to who I am, how I feel, and what I want to happen. My dream is to complete my career here. That’s my strategy, therefore that’s it.”
The day Lillard was drafted by the Blazers
In the 2012 NBA Draft, the Trail Blazers picked Lillard with the sixth overall choice. Only two active players have spent more time with their original team than Lillard up to this point: Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Being loyal is obviously very important to Lillard, and by remaining in Portland, he feels as though he is being faithful both to the Blazers organisation and to himself.
People often use phrases like “He’s being loyal” and “loyalty this, loyalty that.” I also have a strong sense of loyalty, Lillard remarked. “I certainly have some devotion to the [Blazers] organisation, but the loyalty they’re referring to is really just a reflection of who I am as a person. I’m being true to who I am and not losing my cool. I’m someone who stands by my convictions. I believe I can complete it.
We’ll probably have a chance to win, he continued. “I have a feeling that will happen at some point. I believe that opportunity will present itself, so there you have it. I’m prepared to go all out as long as I believe that our team is giving it our all and that we are all on the same page about doing everything we can to win.”
Lillard addressed why continuing to work toward bringing a championship to Portland was more enticing to him than teaming up with other talents elsewhere and achieving success in that fashion after signing a new, two-year, $122 million agreement with the Blazers in July.
“I’ve always claimed that if I take a stand against who I am and claim that I succeed, I know myself better than any of you do. It wouldn’t be as rewarding for me as I would want that moment to be, but I would still be happy with it because I don’t believe anyone wouldn’t be thrilled about becoming a champion “said Lillard. “However, I’m eager to go out as long as I get the chance to do it, a decent opportunity to [fight for a title].”
It is nice to see a top player essentially declare, “Hey, I’m going to be here,” in an age where long-term commitment is practically nonexistent and players appear to transfer teams at a fast speed. Will Lillard’s position limit his chances of winning a championship? Most likely, but it’s respectable to him since he’s made it plain that doing things his way is just as important to him.