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Smith: Knicks More Likely Team For Lillard

On First Take, Stephen A. Smith said that Dame favors New York over Philly.

Portland Trail Blazers v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

After Philadelphia 76ers fans chanted that they want Damian Lillard, the Portland Trail Blazers’ point guard is filling the sports talk news cycle once more. To that end, Stephen A. Smith said on First Take that he believes Lillard is more likely to end up with the New York Knicks should he ever leave the Trail Blazers, even though he’s Philadelphia’s kind of guy.

“Me, personally, I would tell you the Knicks...I happen to know that if Damian Lillard were to ever depart from Portland, that’s where his No. 1 choice would be. Not Brooklyn, but the city, where KD should be! Where KD and Harden should be! Okay! Not Brooklyn, New York. Okay. New York City. All right. And that is exactly where Damian Lillard would want to do if he were not in Portland.”

Smith also has a strong belief that the tough times Lillard is going through now won’t last due to his personality.

But he’s committed to Portland, he’s committed to giving Chauncey Billups a chance to show what he’s made of as a coach, and even though they’re struggling early, it’s primarily because Damian Lillard is struggling early. I wouldn’t sniff at Philly because I think he would be the perfect complement to what Doc Rivers wants to do, I think he’d be a perfect complement to Joel Embiid — and he’s got the heart, he’s got the whatever. Ignore these struggles. Damian Lillard is shooting less than 35% from the field. He’s shooting less — shooting around 23% from three-point range.

Ladies and gentlemen, this man has been in the league entirely too long. He‘s a marksman extraordinaire, he’s a closer, he is a superstar in this game, he is just going through some bad shooting woes at this particular moment in time. I assure you, it will not last. And if I were to sit up there and tell you, again, when we think about the culture that is being built in New York City — we think about the culture...listen to what Damian Lillard said last night post-game when he was addressing the media about his struggles. He said, listen man, this builds character. He said it’s about rising from the (indistinguishable), I look at this as a challenge. You embrace this and all of that other stuff. Philadelphia — he basically said what Philadelphia wanted to hear from Ben Simmons but never did. That’s why Damian Lillard is their type of guy. But he would still be better in New York because the mecca, the culture, the city — the whole nine — it’s more suitable for Damian Lillard.”