‘We’ll have a chance to win’: Damian Lillard’s love for the Blazers remains unassailable
The Portland Trail Blazers missed the playoffs last season after their star point guard, Damian Lillard, suffered an abdominal injury, requiring surgery that caused him to miss significant time. The 2013 unanimous Rookie of the Year, Lillard is now 32 years old, and as much as Blazers fans would hate to admit it, time is running out on Lillard in his quest to win an NBA championship.
Nevertheless, Damian Lillard’s love for the Blazers remains unassailable despite the ups-and-downs he’s faced in his 10 seasons in the NBA and he’s not going anywhere else soon, locked up by the Blazers until at least the 2026 season. Lillard knows that victory will taste sweeter if he does it in Portland, a franchise he’s stuck with through thick and thin, and if everything goes to plan, he will don Blazers colors until he’s done with his career.
“Yes, I do (plan on being a Blazer for life),” Lillard told ESPN’s Dave Pasch on his podcast. “Now, everybody else might say ‘There’s no way the Blazers will ever win. They need to do this, they need to do that.’ But that’s just not how I feel about the situation. I feel like we’ll have a chance to win, I feel like that moment is going to come, I feel like that opportunity is going to come. And that’s that.”
Damian Lillard’s loyalty may have gone overboard in recent years, but he asserts that he is not necessarily being loyal to a franchise – he’s being loyal to himself and the self-confidence he possesses.
“[…] This loyalty that they’re talking about is ultimately to who I am as a person. I’m being loyal to who I am and not getting beside myself because I’m somebody that, I believe what I believe. I think I can get it done,” Lillard added.
The Blazers have added pieces around their franchise cornerstone, acquiring Jerami Grant and Gary Payton II, among others, during the offseason. Anfernee Simons’ possible leap into All-Star status is also one to look out for after he was given a four-year, $100 million deal. And Damian Lillard knows that with him leading the way, the Blazers could make some noise as early as this upcoming season.
“We got a lot of guys that, I feel like we have the makings of being a good team,” Lillard proclaimed. “We’re going to have to grind it out and go take stuff, but I love where we are right now. In this moment, I love where we are.”