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Lillard: Blazers ‘Protecting Me From Myself’ By Shutting Me Down

The Portland leader talks about why he’s been shut down for the season.

Chicago Bulls v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard has highlighted the rationale for shutting him down for the rest of the 2022-23 season on the Dan Patrick Show.

NBA Insider Chris Haynes reported that the seven-time All-Star had been shut down for the season on March 28 with the team staring down the barrel of another return to the lottery.

Lillard elaborated on the decision with Dan Patrick Friday (5:50 mark of video).

“I wouldn’t say it’s my decision at all. [It’s] maybe the team protecting me from myself. We’ve had so many injuries on our team, not just right now but throughout the season and you’ve got guys that have been banged up that just aren’t healthy enough to go out there and make a run for it right now. With me having a few injuries this season with my calf, nothing serious. And then having to play so many minutes down the stretch because of those injuries that we have now, calf started to tighten back up on me. Not in a way [that’s] something crazy, but just tighten up to where it’s almost precautionary because there is something there and it is tight, I tweaked my ankle.

“It’s just you don’t want to be overcompensating and they know I’m going to go out there and compete and I’m going to try to make it happen. Every time that I’ve had some type of injury like that get irritated or aggravated like that, it’s come from just a heavy load and stress and just going out there and trying to go above and beyond. So I would say there is something there and also them just trying to protect me from myself as well.”

The Blazers were eliminated from the Play-In picture following Friday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings.