All-Star Gary Payton and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard have always had a bond. They both hail from Oakland, have attended numerous All-Star games and are franchise faces in the pacific northwest.
Payton spoke with Justin Termine on SiriusXM Radio to talk about Lillard and his current state of affairs with the Blazers and his career.
This is all directly provided by Sirius XM’s marketing department and the following excerpt is from December 9th’s edition of SiriusXM NBA Radio with hosts Justin Termine and Eddie Johnson.
Justin Termine: “I was watching a documentary recently on KG and he said that you convinced him to go to Boston where he eventually won the ring, so it was a wise decision. And I say that because there’s another Oakland guy, Damian Lillard, right now that I think is kind of in a similar crossroads to KG and what he was going through at that time. And it doesn’t look like they have a bright future and it’s been messy in Portland so far this year. What would you like to see to happen with him or what would be the advice that maybe you would give Damian Lillard in a spot like this, and what he’s going through?”
Gary Payton: “That’s a great question. I was just with Damian the other day when they played Golden State, and we did a documentary together about making the 75 and from Oakland. And we talked and I just, I’m not, I told him, I said, ‘Look, you are a guy who, we’re built the same. We’re from the same cloth. I didn’t wanna leave Seattle. I didn’t wanna do that. I didn’t care how it went, how it was going, but they [inaudible] to trade me. I said, ‘Let them trade you. Don’t ask for it. Don’t be that way. Don’t be that way. Build it up, be your guy.’ I don’t like teaming up with other guys to win championships. I just don’t like doing that. He got drafted to Portland. He changed Portland. He turned it around. They were going downhill and he started making ‘em come up. They were going to playoffs. He was making big shots. He was doing things. He agrees. He doesn’t want a trade. He’s not gonna ask for a trade. He’s just gonna work with it because a lot of things is going on in Portland. My guy Chauncey Billups is the head coach. I love it. You know what I’m saying? You’re just gonna have to work it out. I think that’s the organization’s problem. I think the organization has to get him a better team. I think the organization has to work with them to do things that they have to do to build this team up. You’re going through a lot of injuries right now. But with Portland, I haven’t seen any changes. I haven’t seen nothing that’s gonna say you have made me better. You know what I’m saying? And make my guy who is the guy around me, who is going be my future in Damian Lillard, and even [CJ] McCollum, you haven’t made any changes to make us be happy to say that we got some other dogs to go around us. And they have to do that. I think that firing the president and the general manager, it was what you did. You put him in there and he didn’t do anything. So you figured that it was a mistake. Now what are you gonna do to correct that mistake? Do I get Damian and McCollum happy? Yes, I have to do that. Do I have to go with Chauncey Billups and get him some help? Yes I do. So I think that that’s what they have to do. And I don’t think Damian is gonna ask for trade anytime soon.”
Termine: “You think it is frustrating for him though at this point, just from you talking with him?”
Payton: “Yes, it is frustrating because he wants to win a championship. He talks to me about that all the time. He’s saying, ‘OG, I got everything you’ve been doing, but I do wanna win a championship.’ And I said, ‘Sometimes that’s gonna have to wait.’ And I said, ‘Then what you wanna do? Do you want to team up with somebody or do you wanna win it on your own?’ And his [answer] comes out quickly. ‘I wanna win it on my own. I’m not built like that.’ And that’s what he’s gonna have to wait for. He’s frustrated because he’s not a loser. He’s a winner. You’re frustrated when you know that you can win basketball games, but if you got the right crew around you, you will win. And he hasn’t had that yet. And I think that that’s what he’s frustrated about is every day he goes out there and you don’t gimme the pieces that I really need. But I do have pieces. Now let’s do something. Let’s get us some more pieces and get us some more things and we can see what we can do.”
The full audio can be listened to here.