Over the last few weeks, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has been outspoken regarding his thoughts on superstars jumping from team-to-team in search of an elusive championship, going as far as to say that he doesn’t “enjoy what the NBA is becoming.” In today’s sit down with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, talented Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie became the next player to weigh in on the hotly-debated “ring culture” topic. Along the way, he offered some thoughts on Lillard and NBA greats as a whole.
Lillard and Dinwiddie’s comments on how quickly the general public forgets about players after their careers end are similar. Dinwiddie noted that if you weren’t among the absolute Pantheon greats — think LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant-type players — it can be relatively easy to slip through the cracks. After discussing his more overarching point in how one ring could help decide the LeBron vs. Jordan debate, the Nets guard provided some thoughts on the Blazers star:
“People talk about Dame all the time, right? For him, he’s not going to be the GOAT regardless. You know what I’m saying? He’s not gonna be that. So, if he’s cool with his career and he knows that he made the right decision staying in Portland, more power to him. I have no problem with him and I’m not going to say he’s a worse player for it. He’s probably the second-best three-point shooting point guard in the history of the game, and a monster. So, that’s really the way I view it.”
Dinwiddie also pointed out that he understood the idea of ring chasing if you were among the top-20 players in NBA history, with how much value a championship has in equalizing or shifting debates and rankings, while observing that it wouldn’t be as important in other situations.
While the question of whether Lillard’s loyalty is worth it or not remains a common talking point among NBA circles, one thing that can’t be argued is that Lillard’s peers respect his mindset and approach. Just last month in The Athletic’s player poll, NBA stars were asked to pick one player — excluding themselves — that they would like to see eventually win an NBA championship. Lillard tied for the No. 1 spot alongside Chris Paul.
For those interested in the full, hour-long back-and-forth between Dinwiddie and Rooks, the link can be found above. The discussion in regards to Lillard and “ring chasing” begins at the 15-minute mark.