Another year, another lost season for Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers suffered their sixth defeat in a row after losing to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
And with the team now four games behind the final play-in spot in the Western Conference and talk of Portland potentially shutting Lillard down, ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith believes it's time for Lillard to finally part ways.
“I have more of a problem with Dame,” Smith said on First Take when asked if he had a problem with Portland shutting Lillard down. “I say this out of sheer affection and admiration… The Portland Trail Blazers is not the place to be.
“… You got to insist on being in a better situation as opposed to showing a level of loyalty and patience that he's shown. He's [Damian Lillard] given this organization [Trail Blazers] everything he's had, it hasn't worked, it's not enough. He's got to be committed to going into a better situation. I think he's getting to that point now more so than ever.”
"He's [Damian Lillard] given this organization [Trail Blazers] everything he's had, it hasn't worked… He's got to be committed to going into a better situation."
Stephen A. Smith reacts on Portland possibly shutting down Dame. pic.twitter.com/Y3uDh4D7dU
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 21, 2023
Lillard is averaging 32.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 7.2 assists over 57 games this season. Those are extremely impressive numbers in what is a career year for Dame. In the end, however, he has nothing to show for it.
And even if he does end up leaving the Blazers in the near future, Smith believes it's too little, too late as it's something Lillard should have done years ago.
“It's a little bit too late to the party,” Smith added. “He should have done this a few years ago. He should have been left that organization.”