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Stephen A. Smith Wants Damian Lillard in a Bigger Market

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Damian Lillard’s loyalty to Portland is well-documented. Stephen A. Smith still wants him out.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has made his intentions crystal clear in regards to joining a high-powered, star-studded team over the last few years. But, that loyalty hasn’t stopped the national media from salivating over the idea of him doing so. On today’s ESPN First Take, Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman discussed it in detail.

Smith threw out the idea of Lillard in New York — an idea he’s been contesting since 2018 — and California, saying that Lillard would have a chance to elevate his popularity and brand in a larger market.

Even in an era where switching teams to chase better opportunities has become the norm, that mentality would be sacrilegious to everything Lillard has said and done to this point. Just this past summer, he called out Paul George for “switching teams” and “running from the grind.” To his credit, he noted that Lillard’s loyalty to his situation in Portland was the reason he got a different type of respect than other superstars across the Association.

The two also went back-and-forth on Portland needing to trade one of the two of Lillard or McCollum to win a championship, and what they believe motivates Lillard. The link can be found here.