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Damian Lillard Saw Success Coming - Aldridge Needed Patience

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Damian Lillard saw success coming and has believed in the Blazers even before he was drafted. LaMarcus Aldridge was impatient to be on a winning team.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers continue to add wins to their season and more interest from around the country. Ramona Shelburne writing for ESPN.com takes a look at Damian Lillard and drops a nice little nugget about LaMarcus Aldridge. She writes that Lillard saw the Blazers' success coming even before he was drafted by Portland. He has seen other things that are about to occur such as this play when Portland played the Los Angeles Lakers recently.

Portland's General Manager was aware of the future also.

"Honestly, the thing I'm most proud of is the discipline we had with Dame," general manager Neil Olshey said. "We didn't bring anyone in. We didn't go after any free-agent point guards to buy him some time. We drafted him, we believed in him, and we just said, 'This is going to be his ball. He's going to be our guy.'"

The Blazers had a 33 - 49 year during Lillard's rookie season. Many players and fans could see the the team developing. But not everyone was totally comfortable with the team's vision. Shelburne writes:

After the season, Aldridge was a little antsy. He was 27 and ready to win something meaningful. But he told management he would be patient for at least another year.

"After a losing season like that, I was trying to go win somewhere," Aldridge said. "They told me to give them a year and I did."

Olshey did two things when Aldridge told him that. He asked him what kind of center he thought he'd play well with, and he asked him to trust him.

"L.A. was open-minded," Olshey said. "He gave [coach] Terry Stotts a chance on the floor and he gave me a chance off the floor."

Most Blazer fans know that after the J.J. Hickson experiment in Portland Robin Lopez was brought in to play along side Aldridge, who has seen himself develop into the team's leader on a winning team.

Hat tip to JP503 in Fanshots for getting there first.