Shaq slaps Damian Lillard with harsh reality of why he has to leave Blazers
Hall of Fame center turned analyst Shaquille O’Neal recently dropped his take on the Lillard-Blazers situation. The big man spoke candidly on The Rich Eisen Show on the realities that surround Damian Lillard in today’s NBA – and why he needs to make the hard decision to leave the only franchise he’s ever known.
“He is an old school mentality guy that’s playing in the new school. The old-school guy would say, ‘I’m not teaming up with you, I’m gonna beat you’. But these new school guys would say, ‘hey, let’s team up to make it easier’. So that’s the toughest decision for him.”
“I know he wants to stay in Portland and win it out. But he may have to switch up his mentality… if everybody else is doing it, then that’s just gonna keep him further from winning a championship… Should he go to a contender if he wants to brighten his chance of winning a championship? I’d say he should do that. I don’t really like guys teaming up, but it’s just the way it is these days. If he can get to a team that already has two or three guys, and you add him. That raises his chances of winning a championship.”
Shaquille O’Neal himself is no stranger to leaving town for greener pastures. The Big Diesel famously left the Orlando Magic after years of falling short, which netted him three rings and one of the most dominant runs in sports history with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. His advice to the Blazers star isn’t without merit.
Still, Damian Lillard clearly wants the ultimate satisfaction of doing it on his own terms, and not ones defined by what his superstar peers are doing. This upcoming season marks a decade of Damian Lillard on the Blazers. If he does opt to move on, nobody would fault him for not giving his all after 10 years of service to the city that embraced him.