Sports Writers can write what they want. Fans across the league can come up with whatever combination of players and picks they think the team they root for should trade to get Portland’s star. Tweet and retweet rumors all over twitter to try and give them some tangibility. Play off the drama surrounding the hiring of Chauncey Billups as head coach. Misread Lillard’s discontent and urgency as unhappiness. Paint him as a disgruntled player headed for the exit. Put words in his mouth. Blow smoke. None of that matters. Damian Lillard isn’t going anywhere.
This past week I don’t know how many reports, fake tweets, and trade proposals for Lillard have graced the internet. I have lost count. I have grown tired of seeing them. I shake my head at them every time one crosses my screen. But, sources say….sources! Ha! I haven’t seen one real source in the bunch. I’ve seen clickbait. I have sighted fake Woj and Shams accounts make terrible attempts at tricking people. They have gotten some people. Some Lakers fans confessed to being had. I confess that made me laugh. I have spotted ludicrous trade proposals, some not even possible, others that would never happen, not in a million years.
If you aren’t hearing it from Damian Lillard himself, don’t listen to it. Its just white noise. White noise that got so loud that Lillard himself took the podium post Team USA practice to dispel the rumors, saying everything you heard…well..”It’s not true.” Damian Lillard isn’t disgruntled. He isn’t thinking about playing for other teams right now. He is feeling the urgency of getting older, further along his career, and having yet to win a championship. He wants to win one, and he wants to win it here in Portland. ” I want to win it all in a Trail Blazers’ uniform, but we all have to be making strides toward that.”
People see the second part of that sentence. They see Lillard say things like, “I haven’t made any firm decisions on what my future will be.” They take as oh, he wants a championship team now or he is going to demand a trade before the season, or midseason, or after the season. Doom! Gloom! Doom! Aaaaaaaah! No. Not at all. Yes, I am shaking my head. Lillard wants what we all (as in blazer fans) want, a championship, here in Portland. Sooner rather than later. He has the leverage of being the teams star, and he has a voice that he is not afraid to use. This is a good thing Portland! Lillard wants Olshey to stop coasting. He wants a coach that will hold players accountable. He is happy with Billups as the choice to be that coach. He wants stronger defensive players around him. He wants the urgency to be felt. Its being felt, and its uncomfortable to many. But, you have to disrupt the status quo for real change to happen.
What would be scary is if the Blazers kept getting kicked out the playoffs year after year (mostly in the 1st rnd), followed by modest roster changes, and Lillard just kept quiet about it. He could have just relaxed and collected his checks, never said anything, and could have retired in 5-8 years. Another era of the Blazers over and nothing to show for it (trophy wise).You want a star player who wants the best of himself and his team. Blazers fans are lucky because they have that in Lillard, and because of it Portland may have another championship in the near future.