Miami Heat All-Star center Bam Adebayo recently spoke on the prospects of a pairing with Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard as Portland looks to retain their franchise player.
WPLG reporter Clay Ferraro shared Adebayo’s comments from the Heat’s fifth annual clinic at Slam! Miami:
“Dame isn’t the loudest person. I’m not the loudest person. You know, we’re two down to earth people that gelled well in the Olympics,” Adebayo said.
Adebayo and Lillard won the Gold medal together at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Both were starters on the high-profiled team as Lillard’s 11.2 points per game and Adebayo’s team-leading 5.7 rebounds per contest helped fuel their win.
While Lillard is known for his recognizable ‘Dame Time’ celebration and humble-brag moments in clutch situations, he has garnered a reputation as being one of the more mild-mannered stars in the league.
Lillard’s play and demeanor have built a lasting impact with the Blazers franchise, and management in turn has been patient in wanting to continue in pursuit of a championship with the 11-year veteran.
Should Lillard be dealt, Adebayo’s 25.1 percent usage rate in 2022-23 ranked No. 7 among all centers, as his playmaking and offense-initiating style of play, coupled with his 14.9 shot attempts per game serve as a complement to Lillard’s ascending offensive production.
Nonetheless, the Blazers have been committed to building a winning environment in the Lillard-era, and with a wealth of young talent on the roster, coupled with the offensive weapons to compete with any team on any given night, retaining Lillard – who is coming off of a career season – gives the franchise the best shot at returning to contention sooner rather than later.