Do you miss watching Damian Lillard sinking shots from the logo? It has been a rough season for the Portland Trail Blazers without their key star, and there is no doubt that Lillard is loyal to the soil in Rip City. As Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report notes, there are few like Dame in the modern era.
Damian Lillard sticks it out through tough stretches with one franchise, and we all nod approvingly without thinking very hard about the logic of rooting for laundry. But then Ben Simmons and James Harden engineer controversial exits while still under contract, and we have to square our Lillard-inspired feelings with the understanding that most employees with leverage should use it to work where they want to.
Lillard is just outside of the decade or more with one team by Hughes’ reckoning, having played 10 seasons for the Blazers.
The Blazers have won at least 50 games three times and made the playoffs the last eight seasons. Even if Portland has never profiled as a serious contender, it’s been consistently relevant because of the six-time All-Star’s play.
Expressions of loyalty have become part of Lillard’s brand, and the fact that he’s still a Blazer after spending much of this past year in trade speculation suggests both he and the Blazers aren’t just blowing smoke about sticking together. All that could change if the team’s current efforts to rebuild around Dame fall flat.
Stay tuned on this one.
Given the moves interim GM Joe Cronin has made so far, we’re going to agree to wait and see what happens this summer, but in the meantime, we’ll continue to count on Lillard’s loyalty.