All signs indicate that Trail Blazers starting guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are satisfied in Portland. But they still acknowledge that playing in major cities like New York has some advantages. Speaking to Stefan Bondy of the NY Daily News, Lillard highlighted some benefits:
“For sure. I think when we travel and we come to New York, when we come to L.A., all the cities that you go to, you land in certain spots and you’re like, ‘Man, I like this city,’” Lillard told the News. “You look forward to going there for whatever reason. I like shopping here, you know what I’m saying.
“And L.A., it’s close to home, a lot of my friends live there, it’s good weather. Nice spots to go eat dinner. They got a live DJ. There are things about it that you like. So when you have free agents, those are the things they think about. Like, I can go to Brooklyn, then you think of the things you do when you’re in Brooklyn and say, I can do that. So it’s more appealing, I think.”
McCollum, meanwhile, looks at a market’s advantage in the East when making the All-Star team:
“Any market would help in the East would help, yeah. When you’re in the Western Conference it’s different in terms of the guard depth,” McCollum said. “There’s a lot of good guards that don’t make the All-Star game in the West.”
However, Lillard points out that business opportunities afforded by a large market are “overrated”:
“Just because you go somewhere where there’s a lot of business opportunities doesn’t mean it’s going to be presented to you,” [Lillard] said. “I can say, I have a lot of business opportunities out there for me in L.A., but that don’t mean it’s going to happen.
“It’s just opportunities. So I think all that stuff is kind of overrated.”