Damian Lillard desperately wants to win an NBA title, but he won’t push Portland’s front-office to trade teammates in order to make it happen.
“I’m not willing to put somebody under the bus to do it,” says Lillard.
A look at the Trail Blazers as the trade deadline nears: https://t.co/cBzkNtBgN5
— Jason Quick (@jwquick) January 21, 2019
Lillard likes the way the Trail Blazers are hooping this season, and knows it won’t get any easier for the team to attract top-flight talent.
Per The Athletic:
“If we go away from (team chemistry and continuity), it has to be for certain that we are able to match them talent wise,” Lillard said. “I’m not saying ‘Do it’ if we can get that, I’m just saying if we are ever going to sacrifice (chemistry), it would have to come with us being able to match a team with talent, and that’s unlikely. It’s hard to get that much talent to come to Portland.”
The catch, of course, is that to get big-name talent in a trade, you have to give something in return, and the biggest lure the Blazers have right now is [CJ] McCollum, one of Lillard’s closest friends. Lillard never brought up McCollum, but he was adamant that he would never sacrifice a teammate for his desire to win a championship.
“I’m going to go out there and get to the playoffs and put my best foot forward before I go out there and say (clicks his tongue) ‘Man, you need to go out there and get him instead of him.’ Because that’s not who I am,” Lillard said. “And I don’t care what nobody has to say about it. I’m not going to be the person to say I want to win a ring so bad and all I care about is winning.
“Because at the end of the day, I know in my heart I want to win. I want to win a championship for this city, but I’m not willing to put somebody under the bus to do it. That means more to me than saying ‘I won a championship!’ but now this guy has been traded to a bad situation, and now his team don’t like him as much and he might be out of the league in a year. I’m not going to have that. I’m not going to have that on me.”