The former rookie of the year was candid in a recent interview as he discussed the notion of playing for the Lakers and we he opted not to.The Blazers star felt it just wasn’t the right fit and so the Blazers were able to keep their star.
Damian Lillard pledges allegiance to the Blazers
In a recent interview, Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard was candid about his preseason meeting in Los Angeles. Lillard’s name of course was top of the list when it came to the trade rumors during the off season as everyone wondered whether he would stay or go. In the end the former rookie of the year chose to remain with Portland.
Lillard clarified the idea that it has always been his desire to stay and win a championship for the Portland Trail Blazers franchise, even more so after a 2021 campaign that ended in disappointment with the Blazers crashing out of the playoffs in the first round. Speaking on his meeting with with LeBron James over the summer, Lillard was open about the conversation. James of course is known to have actively tried to convince him to join the Los Angeles Lakers where he would have played alongside the NBA icon as well as Anthony Davis with the intention of forming an incomparable trifecta. Finally Lillard refused James’ offer and the Lakers instead went on to sign Russell Westbrook. Lillard also made it clear that his heart is in Portland saying he didn’t think it appropriate for him to go to another team.
What did Damian Lillard say to LeBron James?
Speaking on the infamous conversation between himself and the Lakers’ LeBron James, Lillard was surprisingly transparent. “Bron asked what I was thinking with my situation, and I told him what I’m telling you – that I just want to be in a position to win it all. He painted the picture to me that if I were to leave, the situation could look like this. He didn’t tell me to come to LA, and he didn’t say anything to me that I didn’t already know other than what it could look like. I told him, ‘I know if I were to play with y’all, I know it would work out because of my skill set,’ and who I am and who they are.”
Damian Lillard walks his own path
Ironically Lillard also commented on effect the media has on elite players today, saying that players can often become engrossed in and influenced by the media and its coverage of them. Speaking of his own approach to the media he was honest, “I don’t tune out what they say, but I just do what I want to do. And I think people look at it like, ‘Ah, he’s just taking the money. He doesn’t want to win.’ The media is so accustomed to rocking the boat and making people move how they want to move, and that’s not going to happen with me.”
While he acknowledged that it would be incredible experience to play with superstars like James and Davis, he was quick to point out that his decision was not based on being comfortable in his present situation.