Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard fell just outside the top three for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player considerations. While that outcome is somewhat disappointing, it should not detract from the important milestone that Lillard is about to hit when it comes to his place in Blazers history.
Barring a completely unforeseen voting outcome, Lillard is a virtual lock to earn a spot on one of the All-NBA teams this year. Once all the votes and ballots are revealed, Lillard will establish a clear-cut lead over Clyde Drexler when it comes to All-NBA selections in a Blazers uniform.
Not counting the upcoming 2020-21 process, Lillard has secured a spot on an All-NBA squad on five separate occasions. Drexler, during his memorable run in red and black, also earned five selections. His fifth selection is a bit tricky. In the 1994-95 season, Drexler was shipped to the Rockets after appearing in 41 games with the Blazers. He would go on to play in 35 regular season games in Houston prior to earning a third-team nod at the conclusion of the year.
Earning a sixth selection would remove all the guesswork from Lillard’s claim to the most All-NBA recognitions in Blazers history. Which All-NBA team Lillard lands on adds another level of intrigue to the process. If he earns a first-team spot, Lillard would become the only Blazers player to earn that honor more than once. Entering the 2020-21 season, only Bill Walton, Drexler and Lillard had previously secured first-team selections.
Whether it is a first-team or third-team selection, it is also important to consider how rare it is for a Blazers player to secure an All-NBA spot. Here is a look at the seven players that earned a place on an All-NBA team during the Blazers’ 51-season existence.
- Damian Lillard | Selections: 5 | First-Team: 1
- Clyde Drexler | Selections: 5* | First-Team: 1
- LaMarcus Aldridge | Selections: 3 | First-Team: 0
- Bill Walton | Selections: 2 | First-Team: 1
- Brandon Roy | Selections: 2 | First-Team: 0
- Maurice Lucas | Selections: 1 | First-Team: 0
- Jim Paxson | Selections: 1 | First-Team: 0
In regards to “The Greatest Blazers Player Ever” debate, the 2020-21 voting process should place Lillard in a class of his own when it comes to All-NBA selections. Out of fairness to Drexler and Walton, it is important to note that Lillard’s resume does not boast an NBA Finals appearance or an MVP award.