With 18,040 points in a Portland Trail Blazers jersey, Clyde Drexler is the franchise leader in points scored. That record has stood since 1995. No other Blazer in nearly 30 years has come close to breaking it. That is except for Damian Lillard, who has the opportunity to surpass Drexler this season.
Since entering the league in 2012, Lillard has scored 17,510 points for Portland. His career scoring average, as noted by Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, is 24.6 points per game. If Lillard maintains that clip in the upcoming season, he will overtake Drexler after about 22 games played, making him the new franchise leader.
Drexler, long-retired, is ready to see Lillard’s name top the list. Via Haynes:
“You and I know records are made to be broken, but I can’t think of a better player or person to break the record than Dame,” Drexler told Yahoo Sports. “He exemplifies being a team player and going about his business in a professional way. I have nothing but admiration and respect for him. When he comes close to getting the record, and if our schedules align, I would love to be there to help out in any way I can. That’s a nice milestone to achieve. I am looking forward to him accomplishing that.”
Lillard averaged 24.0 points in 29 games last season while fighting through a worsening abdominal injury. It stands to reason that if Lillard sees a return to form, he could increase his scoring average and reach Drexler’s benchmark sooner than later.
But that’s not the only milestone Lillard is set to reach. For those doing the math, Lillard could breach 20,000 points some time in the 2023-24 NBA season. Only 49 players in recorded history have achieved that feat, including the aforementioned Drexler who sits at No. 34 on the all-time scoring list after finishing his career with the Houston Rockets.
Last season notwithstanding, Lillard has averaged 1,868.3 points per season throughout his career thus far. Barring an unforeseen departure, Lillard will not only break Drexler’s record, he will blow by it on his way to historic placement on Portland’s – and the league’s – leaderboard.