On Friday morning, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports published an article about Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, suggesting that Lillard did not have the pieces around him to contend for a championship, a situation that threatened to wear thin.
After Portland’s 128-109 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night, Dwight Jaynes of NBCSports Northwest asked Lillard about the article in a post-game press conference. Casey Holdahl of the Trail Blazers recorded Lillard’s response and tweeted video of it.
Somebody reached out to me and mentioned it to me.
I took it for what it was. That’s his thoughts. I was kind of...what word should I use? Not irritated with him because he’s a writer. That’s what he does. I can’t expect him to not do his job.
But I know because of our relationship, that people would assume that I was tied to the story. I think that was the only thing that bothered me about it.
I lean on the fact that, me and Neil [President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey], if we have a conversation, I know that I can go into his office and walk in that door and tell him whatever I think. And we’ve had those conversations. Same with Terry [Head Coach Terry Stotts].
I think he was doing his job and for me, I just lean on people know who I am. Even with you guys... if you guys ask me a question, I answer it. I tell you what I think. I say how I feel. And most importantly, behind closed doors, the same goes for the people in our business.
Obviously it was no secret. I mentioned it to you guys, I think, in Utah. It’s been frustrating. I also mentioned to you guys that I haven’t been my most healthy this year. It’s probably been my most difficult season physically. I don’t think that’s no secret.
When I saw it, I knew what it was, but I take solace in the things I just mentioned. It is what it is.