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#pounditSaturday, September 24, 2022

Damian Lillard

Report: Damian Lillard ‘obsessed’ with bringing one star player to Blazers

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard recently reassured Portland Trail Blazers fans that he has given no thought to requesting a trade. He has, however, spoken openly about wanting the team to improve the roster around him, and the star point guard apparently has a plan in mind for how the Blazers can do that.

During a Wednesday appearance on the “HoopsHype Podcast,” Anthony Slater of The Athletic said Lillard is hung up on the idea of Draymond Green joining him in Portland.

“The Blazers would love to have him,” Slater said, via Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report. “Lillard has been obsessed with getting him there for a while.”

There have been trade rumors involving Green dating back to last year, but the Golden State Warriors have given no indication that they intend to move him. Green is signed through next season and has a $27 million player option for 2023-24. The Warriors also appear to be rounding back into form, as they are off to a 5-1 start and will be getting Klay Thompson back from injury soon.

But if Golden State does decide to entertain the idea of moving Green, their first call should be the Portland. Green and Lillard showed at the Tokyo Olympics that they have a close relationship. Lillard said Green gave him a pep talk after he passed up a shot he would normally take, and the Blazers star played much better after that.

There have been indications that Green’s relationship with Steve Kerr and the Warriors’ brass isn’t all that strong. That’s likely just because of how outspoken Green is. As of now, there’s no reason to think Lillard is going to get his wish.

Damian Lillard makes clear he is not going anywhere

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard was uncertain about his future in Portland as recently as this offseason. But a few weeks into the new season, and he seems much more definitive about where he wants to be.

Lillard’s Portland Trail Blazers played in Philly on Monday night and lost 113-103 to the 76ers. Sixers fans flattered Lillard by trying to recruit him to the team (watch here).

Sixers fans actively recruiting an opponent is a rarity, which makes it a very special thing. Despite the nice gesture from Philly fans, Lillard isn’t going anywhere.

The lifelong Blazers guard says his feet are firmly planted in Portland.

That’s exactly what Blazers fans want to hear. And the recruitment from Sixers fans comes after trade rumors during the offseason.

Lillard said that he was going to give the front office a chance to remake the team and coaching staff. So far, he is pleased with his new head coach. Of course, he probably would like to see improved results though amid a 3-4 start.

Photo: Dec 16, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Video: Sixers fans try their best to recruit Damian Lillard during game

Damian Lillard

Philadelphia 76ers fans put on the full-court press for Damian Lillard during Monday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

As Lillard stepped to the line in the first quarter, the Wells Fargo Center crowd broke out in “We want Lillard!” chants.

Sixers writer Austin Krell shared how loud the chants got from press row.

The Sixers faithful also gave Lillard a roaring ovation during the pregame introductions, per Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice. That is a rarity for stars of opposing teams.

The six-time All-Star Lillard was connected to Philly in offseason rumors and is reportedly coveted by Sixers executive Daryl Morey. Lillard has since reaffirmed his commitment to Portland though and is signed through 2024.

But that will not stop the Sixers fans from putting their best foot forward for Lillard. They seem to be staying ready just in case he does an about-face and eventually requests a trade from the Blazers.

Photo: Dec 16, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard fires back at tweet about his slow start to season

Damian Lillard

It has certainly not been feeling like Dame Time so far this season, but Damian Lillard himself is not having any slander.

The Portland Trail Blazers star fired back on Thursday at a viral tweet about his struggles through the team’s first four games. The post pointed out that Lillard was averaging just 17.7 points on 33 percent shooting from the field and 17 percent from deep.

“What did the 9 years say to the 4 games?” wrote Lillard in response.

Lillard is right that his body of work averaging 24.6 points per game over nine career seasons is more indicative of his true ability than one week’s worth of isolated struggles. Assuming that Lillard is not dealing with an injury or the Monstars suddenly stealing his talent, he should be due for some positive regression back to the mean soon.

Of course, Lillard and the Blazers are on the clock amid all the offseason chatter about the six-time All-Star’s future in Portland. The team is 2-2 to start the season, and opponents will be watching Lillard’s situation with eagle eyes in case it starts to go south.

Photo: Dec 16, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard has positive comment about his future with Blazers

Damian Lillard

No matter what Damian Lillard says or does, there is going to be lingering chatter about him possibly wanting out of the Portland Trail Blazers. He definitely intends to keep trying to dispel that notion, however.

Lillard appeared on ESPN’s “NBA Today” and was asked by host Malika Andrews about his future with the team. Lillard issued a fairly firm commitment to Portland. He said he does not want the perception to be that he will walk the second things get difficult. He also gave a positive sign and said he has developed a good relationship with Chauncey Billups, the new head coach.

“I just wanted it to be clear. It’s not one of those situations where I’m waiting for some adversity to hit or I’m waiting for us to struggle and I’m just going to be like ‘alright, that’s it, I’m leaving,'” Lillard said. “I’ve also developed a really good relationship with Chauncey (Billups), building on the relationship we had before he became my coach.

“It’s not like I’ve all of a sudden come to this point where I’m set because we made some changes. I’ve always been that way. Coming behind our performance in the playoffs, it was just important to me that our steps are truly towards becoming a championship team. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen right away. That doesn’t mean everything is going to go perfect.”

Lillard added that he also wants to make sure Billups is successful as a head coach.

“The last thing I’m thinking about is waiting for it to get tough and bailing out on him when it’s part of who I am to see it through that he has some success as a head coach and be a part of that success,” Lillard said.

There is going to continue to be speculation about Lillard being unhappy in Portland. Even within the last month, there have been rumors that Lillard would be open to moving on but is reluctant to go back on his past comments. True or not, he’s certainly doubling down on the sentiment that for now, he’s good where he is.

New Blazers coach has interesting comments about Damian Lillard situation

Damian Lillard

The Portland Trail Blazers will sink or swim according to what Damian Lillard does, but their new head coach will not bend over backwards to accommodate him.

Appearing this week on SiriusXM NBA Radio, Blazers coach Chauncey Billups made some interesting comments about Lillard, saying that he would not push the All-NBA guard to stay in Portland.

“I came here to coach you, but it’s your career,” said Billups of Lillard. “It’s your life and it’s your family. I’ve been there before, and I’m not going to be the guy preaching, ‘Stay here, go there, do this.’ No. I’ve got a job to do. I want to do it with you obviously. But if at some point you deem, ‘Hey, another place is the place for me.’ That’s not going to be an indictment on myself. That’s going to be you making a decision for you and your family.”

Though trade rumors dogged Lillard and the Blazers for much of the summer, it seems that a crisis has been averted for the time being. Lillard recently re-affirmed his commitment to Portland. Billups also said later in the interview that Lillard is “all-in” on the Blazers.

The two men’s relationship did have a bit of a rocky start. But they seem to have an understanding that it is time to get to work now and let the results speak for themselves.

Did Steph Curry throw subtle shade at Damian Lillard?

Steph Curry

Pepperidge Farm remembers and apparently so does Steph Curry.

The Golden State Warriors star appeared this week on SiriusXM NBA Radio. In the interview, Curry said he enjoyed shutting up the critics last season.

“There was a moment at the beginning of last year, before the Portland game and the 62 [points], that I heard a lot of noise,” Curry said, per NBC Sports Bay Area. “I heard a lot of talk about who I wasn’t. We were going to get exposed. I was going to get exposed. All that type of stuff. I definitely took pride in shutting all that up. But it’s also the realization that when you’re in the fight every year, in that chase to the mountain top and you’re trying to win championships, I might get it more than other people. Just because I wasn’t supposed to be here.

“But I don’t think you’re ever going to get that love like that until it’s all said and done,” added Curry. “So it doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t matter what the narrative is. I definitely did appreciate that I played extremely well and reminded everyone what I was capable of. And I’m carrying that confidence into this year.”

It is probably not a coincidence that Curry mentioned his 62-point game against Lillard and the Trail Blazers specifically. Lillard himself was among those criticizing Curry early on in the season. He made some comments indicating that Curry was having a harder time getting clean looks without having the luxury of superstar teammates this time around.

The former MVP Curry responded by dropping his 62-piece on Lillard and the Blazers just days later and never looked back en route to winning the NBA scoring title with a career-high 32.0 points per game. To his credit, Lillard did own his trash talk after Curry’s explosion. But it seems pretty obvious that Curry was fueled by the doubts of Lillard and others.

Blazers loved Raiders’ ‘Damian Lillard’ audible

Damian Lillard

The Las Vegas Raiders went with an audible on Sunday that got a Chuck Norris thumbs-up from one NBA team.

During their 31-28 overtime victory over the Miami Dolphins in Week 3, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr called out an audible named “Damian Lillard” after the Portland Trail Blazers star.

The Blazers took notice of the audible call and gave it their seal of approval on Twitter.

After calling out the “Damian Lillard” audible, Carr went with a deep throw to receiver Henry Ruggs III that fell incomplete. Lillard is known as one of the best long-range shooters in the NBA, so the audible call may have been a reference to his prowess from deep.

The Raiders have also gone viral before for using another NBA star as the name of an audible. As for Lillard, he is a native of Oakland, Calif., which was the Raiders’ former home. Lillard is a proud Raiders fan as well, so he probably thought that it was a pretty cool moment.

Report: Damian Lillard hesitant to request trade because of interesting reason

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard has decided to give it another shot with the Portland Trail Blazers. But he might have already asked out if not for the risk of having his old takes exposed.

Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice reported this week that sources believe Lillard is being held back from requesting a trade because of his loyalty to Portland and an unwillingness to go back on what he has said in the past about sticking it out with them.

The six-time All-Star Lillard has been a lifelong Blazer since they drafted him back in 2012. But he has only made it as far as the conference finals with them, sandwiched between several disappointing early playoff exits. Rumors earlier in the offseason suggested that Lillard might demand a trade, but he has since put that speculation to rest.

Indeed, Lillard has proclaimed that he would not sell out to win a title. He has even mocked some of his NBA peers for switching teams. At this point, it seems that Lillard’s adherence to his word may be all that is keeping him in Portland for now.

Damian Lillard appears to end speculation about his future in Instagram post

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard sounds ready to enter the new NBA season without a cloud of uncertainty hanging over his future.

The Portland Trail Blazers star appeared to re-affirm his commitment to the team in a post to Instagram on Wednesday.

“Back for more… #RipCity is my city,” Lillard wrote in his caption.

It has been a summer of speculation with regard to Lillard’s future. While the six-time All-Star has been with the Blazers for his entire nine-year NBA career, some reports suggested that he might request a trade from the team. Portland just fired longtime head coach Terry Stotts and lost in the first round last season for the second consecutive year.

This post directly from Lillard should effectively end the speculation though. In fact, we have an idea of what he may want the Blazers to do next.