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Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 at 1:30 pm  |  47 responses

Damian Lillard Says He Can Be an NBA All-Star and MVP


The Rookie of the Year is basically locked up, but Damian Lillard has much loftier career goals. Lillard thinks he can eventually become an All-Star, and win the NBA’s highest individual honor. Per CSNNW: “After losing to the Utah Jazz 112-102 Monday night at EnergySolutions Arena, Damian Lillard sat at his locker stall, slouched over with a ice bag wrapped on his bruised right shoulder. You could tell he wasn’t in the mood for talking. Even after he set an NBA rookie record for most three-pointers made in a season by breaking Stephen Curry’s 166 threes made during his 2009-10 rookie campaign, Lillard still wasn’t in the mood for a conversation. His team had just dropped its fifth game in a row and they’re without their All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge who is sidelined with an right ankle sprain. The losses don’t appear to be ending anytime soon considering their tough remaining schedule. Eventually, Lillard did speak. Briefly. ‘It’s an honor to be able to do that in my first season,’ Lillard said in a way you knew he didn’t want to talk about it. ‘I wish I would have did it in a win. It’s bitter sweet.’ [...] The simple fact is, Lillard wants to win and he has bigger goals he wants to accomplish rather than just setting a three-point record. He feels he can be one of the very top players this league has to offer and he’s on a mission to prove that. ‘I think I can be a first team All-NBA, I think I can be an All-Star, I think I can be an MVP,’ Lillard said. ‘That’s just my opinion. I don’t know when, but how I plan to work and how much better I want to be, I feel like anything is possible.’ [...] ‘I’m not saying I deserve those things right now. That’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that I set high standards for myself,’ he said. ‘I’m not going to come out and try to force myself to be an MVP next season, I’m going to be myself and hopefully all the hard work that I put in will get me to that point. I can get a lot better.’”

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  • Madubbs

    He can.

  • RedDragon10

    I’m sure he can be an all star. In terms of MVP, he may have to wait a bit until Lebron retires. And then Durant.

  • pposse

    too soon to be talkin like that in public. Establish yourself first as someone in the top 20 percentile at your position then go on and tell the world what you feel.

  • Bojangles

    He can. He definitely needs to work on his defence though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    I disagree…the man’s got confidence, let him speak his mind. You don’t always have to be humble.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    lol, no, he is not ever going to be an MVP. But props to the kid for an unlimited supply of confidence.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    And then Wiggins, Parker, Gordon, Randle (one of them). And Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving (who are actually younger then him), Westbrook, Wall, Rose, and a few other player’s who will likely always be better than Lillard.
    .
    Lillard seems so great because he’s getting the most out of his abilities right off the bat. He’s like Tim Duncan in this way. He’ll be a very good player his whole career, but he’s never going to be much better than he was in his rookie year.

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Averaging 19 and 7 as a rookie. Besides the shooting percentage, he’s had a better rookie season than Kyrie. He’s already top 10 at his position to me. They both need to improve defensively, but offensively, he came into the league ready to go. MVP is a stretch. But he’ll be a perennial All-Star in a season or two. Once Kobe retires, the guard position will be open after CP3, Westbrook and Harden in the West.

  • KevinJohnsonFan

    Add DRose to that list. If he’s anything close to how he was or better than he was, he will get at least one more MVP. Especially if the Bulls go back to being the best regular season team in the league and his averages are back in the 24 plus points and 7 plus assists a game range.

  • pposse

    I like the confidence too, but these are the type of quotes that fuel the media. they (media) gravitate to players that are at the top of the food chain, which Lilard is not just yet. I wasn’t in the locker room he seemed to try backtrack and cover his bases a little and was mad at the same time. I won’t hold it against him, just hope public doesn’t either

  • spit hot fiyah

    sounds like Derrick rose, and he backed it up.

  • Drig

    Westbrook, Rose, Kyrie, Wall, CP3 ( he’ll get one eventually since he’s the Point God. ), Durant, LeBron, Davis, Dwight, Harden……….good luck Lillard. I’d first like to see him crack the top 3 positions. I honestly can’t see it.

  • TR

    Do you really think Aaron Gordon is THAT great? I wanna see how he does in college, some of his videos just look like hes dominating much smaller less talented white kids.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    no i don’t. but i do think he has a better chance of being THAT great than Lillard does.

    .

    There is just no way i believe at any point will Lillard be viewed as the best, or most important player in the NBA. How good he is, is being totally and completely overblown to be honest. He’s the worst rookie of the year since Kevin Durant (who was playing Shooting Guard his whole rookie year). Does anyone even realize that?

    .

  • TR

    I dont think Lillard will be an MVP either, but i think hes a very solid pro who will probably put up these numbers and slightly better numbers for the next 7-10 years. Percentages will definitely go up and the defense has to get better, which is likely with how hard he works

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    that is pretty much exactly what i implied when i compared Lillard to Duncan.

  • bike

    He played for Weber State in the Mountain West and rarely played against top Div. 1 competition. He gets drafted in the first round–based largely on what scouts saw as high character and work ethic–and is a lock for ROY in a heavily stacked draft.

    Hell, yea. He might just do it.

  • TR

    Duncan was MVP twice though so…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    oh my god. just try and read.

    .

    “He’s like Tim Duncan in this way. He’ll be a very good player his whole career, but he’s never going to be much better than he was in his rookie year.”

    .
    Where does that anywhere say or imply he’s as good as Duncan?

  • TR

    I’m kidding man…woo sah

  • Dymez

    He’s not saying he’s an MVP caliber player right now. He’s not even saying he’ll be one next season. Basically, the kid said he’s going to work his tail off until he becomes that type of player. That’s what you want in your #1 draft pick; a player who you know will work his tail off.

    Will he be an MVP one day? It’s possible. He’a averaging 19 and 6.5 as a rook, so you would figure due to natural progression, he’ll be a 25 ppg scorer eventually. Derrick Rose put up similar, yet slightly less numbers in his first season and he did it/got it 2 years after. But, at the end of the day, it’s not really about the numbers. It’s about the management. It’s not “The best player” that wins MVP, it’s “The best player on the best team” that wins it. So, will Portland build a team around him that can contend? If so — if Portland can be a #1 seed — then it’s definitely possible. Unfortunately, some feel that franchise is cursed.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    lol, no you weren’t. it’s ok. i am not mad lol, i just get frustrated when i know people didn’t really read what i said and i express it, briefly. i understand you saw the words, but i really don’t believe that you actually paid attention to them. don’t lie tho, it’s not a big deal.

  • Reedo

    YOU AINT DERRICK ROSE *Fabolous voice*

  • danpowers

    dont pull that derrick rose sh*t son!

  • LP

    you just on some Bullsht, Damian, you aint DERRICK ROSE……..jk..but he cant be MVP, simply because Lebron and Kevin Durant won’t allow this in the next 10 years…he’s good enough tho..

  • LakeShow

    Well… No. He’s not good enough then.

  • nhm

    he was asked.

  • roscoe

    ~ cough cough ~

    rookie, get the bags.

  • Lil_Stratboy

    defense*

  • Lil_Stratboy

    Unless they get 60+ wins next season, he won’t have a shot at it

  • Tupac

    Maybe later.I doubt he will be able to beat out Lebron and in the future KD.

  • LeroyShonuff

    A Fab reference… niiiiicccccccceeeee

  • TR

    No,foreal, i was being sarcastic hence the “…”

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Lol sarcasm implies you aren’t serious….
    .
    What you said is a fact

  • JL

    I don’t know if that’s true since it’s not like Jordan or Shaq during his prime won it every year. They do like to rotate it around.

  • JL

    I get what you mean, but the chances of a guy who has made it into the NBA and played very well to become a great NBA player is still much better than a high school player. Unless we are looking at a Lebron James level talent.

    With that said, I doubt Lillard will be MVP. He will be an All-Star eventually, but he won’t do it by himself due to his defense, and the Blazers are stuck in this strange stage where they are not really good nor really bad. And their main pieces in Aldridge and Batum are already fully developed. And with their draft luck, next time they take a big man who’s good he will have bum knees.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    You are assuming first and foremost that at some point Lillard will be better than Aldridge. I realize he’s a big time player and obviously dedicated, but Aldridge is still the best player on that team. And with his defensive abilities (which he apparently loses interest in, so that’s alarming) it’ll be hard to argue that he’s the most valuable player in the whole league. .
    And I named 5 players, it’s not like I said all will be better than Lillard, but I would bet all the money in my bank account plus interest that at least one of the players in that draft class will be better than Lillard every year from their 3rd year forward. That’s how stacked that whole class is. .
    I think Lillard will be a very good player, but to say he’s got MVP potential is a stretch. It’s not like he has the physical gifts of Derrick Rose to take a leap as a player with. He’s got a fully developed jump shot, and he’s already mature beyond his years. I don’t see any type of huge improvement in the future.

  • JL

    I didn’t say Lillard will be better. I inferred that he needs to be the best on the team (obviously if he wants to be MVP). He has a chance to be, although I think he will be another player like Aldridge who sits below the elite tier like Lebron, Wade, Durant, Kobe. He has a chance. I mean, Dirk won, and of course Aldridge is not as good as Dirk, but you can group them in the roughly same group.

    I said Aldridge’s reached his potential, which is a pretty darn good player but not say a DWade at his peak level. Aldridge actually has come along and improved his game more than I thought he could. I like the guy and he’s underrated IMO. Batum’s really good too.

    Talking about the chances of getting a MVP: I even said I doubt Lillard will get MVP (talking about getting mad when people don’t read your posts). If you now take the whole NBA draft class then of course I would take the field. I was referring to the Goodwin vs Lillard argument only. That’s a whole different group/level of player(s). Half of the high school stars probably won’t get drafted in the first round. I didn’t actually research this since I don’t know where to look, but it is quite frequent for highly touted HS stars to come in and struggle vs college competition.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    My argument wasn’t about *Gordon vs Lillard. I named 5 players. I just misunderstood what you were inferring by responding about Gordon. My bad

  • http://twitter.com/BEdotwater Orlando Coolridge

    spelled either way depending on the region, get up on your world knowledge

  • http://www.facebook.com/shooting.guard.319 Shooting Guard

    confidence is good

  • Max

    Don’t forget Rose was as old as Damian is right now when he won mvp.
    But you have a point tho.

  • Max

    Little*

  • Blazers

    Lillard stats right now is the same as Derrick Rose’s sophomore year. And he is also a much better shooter so i don’t see why he can’t be MVP

  • ThanhVo

    Okay so what your saying is you would take a college prospects over a well proven player like Lillard??!!

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    those 4 or Lillard going forward?

    .

    yep, i’ll take those 4. No hesitation at all.

    .

    That’s like you asking in 2003 if i would take LeBron/Carmelo/Darko/Wade over Tony Parker.
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/SAS/2003.html
    .

    It really really is.

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