Damian Lillard is doing a bit of role reversal.
Used to having reporters break news about him, Lillard has been turning the tables by showing off his reporting chops this week. The three-time All-Star point guard broke news on Friday about NBA reporter Sam Amick leaving USA Today to join The Athletic.
Sources: @sam_amick leaving USA Today for a national job at The Athletic …
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) September 7, 2018
Earlier this week, the Portland Trail Blazers star reported that Chris B. Haynes was leaving ESPN for Yahoo Sports.
Sources:Free Agent reporter @ChrisBHaynes reaches agreement w/yahoo sports as Senior NBA insider, Will help build their NBA team.More coming
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) September 5, 2018
Lillard, who averaged 26.9 points per game last season, is still in his prime as a player. But it looks like he’s working towards a potential reporting career after he retires.
The Phoenix Suns made a rather curious trade on Thursday, but they’ve apparently been trying to make some even bigger moves recently.
According to Arizona Sports 98.7’s John Gambadoro, the Suns have tried to trade for several high-profile point guards this summer. Those include Portland’s Damian Lillard, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, and Boston’s Terry Rozier.
Suns have definitely been trying to trade for a front tier point guard – Lillard, Walker, Rozier – but to no avail. Situation at point guard now is not ideal and Phoenix will have to make a trade but Milwaukee pick that they own is not that valuable.
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) August 31, 2018
Obviously, nothing came of any of this. It’s an indication that the Suns are trying to be aggressive and are well aware of their need for a point guard, but they simply don’t have the assets — at least, not ones they’re willing to give up. Instead, they’ve made moves like this one to reset the organization.
It won’t come as news to anyone that the NBA’s Western Conference is loaded.
LeBron James’ decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers puts the topper on the most loaded conference in basketball. Beyond James, you have a Golden State Warriors team that will eventually be able to start five All-Stars if they choose to do so. That doesn’t even encompass a number of other superstars playing out West either. We’re already excited for the playoffs.
Who are the 20 best players in the Western Conference? Here’s our list.
20) Donovan Mitchell, Jazz
It may seem premature, but Mitchell is on here as much for what he could be as soon as next season. Mitchell walked into the NBA from Louisville and became one of the major reasons Utah had such a successful season, averaging upwards of 20 points per game. With a year of experience and the motivation from a feud under his belt, there’s no reason to believe he won’t get even better going forward. Did you see how well he performed in the playoffs? That’s just a taste of what’s to come.
- Anthony Davis Hornets, Chris Paul, Clint Capela, Damian Lillard, DeMarcus Cousins, Donovan Mitchell, Draymond Green, James Harden, Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, LaMarcus Aldridge, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Paul George, Rudy Gobert, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry
Damian Lillard dismissed concerns that he is unhappy in Portland.
Lillard spoke with Trail Blazers reporters from the Summer League on Sunday and addressed his status with the team. According to The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman, Lillard said he is “not unhappy” and discussed what he loves about the organization.
Damian Lillard: “I’m not unhappy. I love where I live, I love the organization, I Iove our coaching staff, I love where I am.”
— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) July 8, 2018
Lillard raised some eyebrows last week with a tweet about the Los Angeles Lakers, who made some big moves, most notably adding LeBron James. On top of that, he also seemed to be upset over the team letting Ed Davis go in free agency.
While all of that would seem to point to Lillard potentially having issues with his team, he still is their franchise cornerstone, and it should be remembered that they finished with the third-best record in the Western Conference last season. He’s probably not ready to give all that up yet.
The Los Angeles Lakers are still trying to upgrade their roster around LeBron James, but another star seems to be hinting that he wouldn’t mind being part of that solution.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard went out of his way Wednesday morning to give some fuel to fan chatter about a trade to the Lakers.
I’m typically a happy camper https://t.co/LvFoTwlEFW
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) July 4, 2018
Will anything happen? Almost certainly not. It would be very difficult to match up, and that’s assuming Portland would even want to make such a move, which they almost certainly don’t.
It’s interesting that Lillard would even say anything, though. He could have easily ignored the tweet, but he made sure to broadcast it for all the world to see while doing nothing to throw cold water on it. Maybe he was just having a little fun, or maybe he’s sending the Blazers a message. He has, after all, mused about what it would be like to play with LeBron in the past.
Damian Lillard is going after a local Portland writer over a recent report.
John Canzano of The Oregonian reported on Thursday that the Blazers guard, who just earned First Team All-NBA honors, requested a follow-up meeting with team owner Paul Allen. Canzano quoted a league source in his report.
On Friday, Lillard himself took an opportunity to respond, tweeting out a link to the story and attacking the credibility of the “clown” Canzano.
His word ain’t one to follow. Dude is a clown https://t.co/hLMuyHiC3l
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) May 25, 2018
Lillard, 27, averaged 26.9 points (a career-high) and 6.6 assists per game this season, leading the Blazers to the No. 3 seed in the West. However, they were disappointingly swept by the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round.
While the Lillard has every right to be frustrated, it does not sound like things have quite escalated to the point where he is calling for additional meetings with ownership. Interestingly enough though, the All-Star guard is not the first Blazer to call out a member of the Portland media in the last month.
When the All-NBA teams were released on Thursday, one of the biggest shocks of all was seeing that Damian Lillard was named first-team All-NBA. Lillard didn’t even make the All-Star team in the previous two seasons, but he got some of the best possible recognition with a first-team All-NBA nod.
Lillard’s selection was met with plenty of surprise, and even led some to use the “BBQ Becky” meme on him. Lillard decided to respond to the haters by posting a photo of the meme and a shrugging emoji.
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) May 24, 2018
The meme is taken after a grumpy white woman who called the police on two black people who were barbecuing at the park and is used to depict someone spoiling the fun for black people in an innocuous situation. Clearly Lillard isn’t going to let the haters ruin his moment. Maybe all of his complaining finally paid off.