Damian Lillard: “I want to win as a Portland Trail Blazer.”

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NBA: Preseason-Portland Trail Blazers at Sacramento Kings

Damian Lillard has reiterated his love and commitment to the Portland Trail Blazers, saying it wouldn’t feel as good to win a championship anywhere else.

Lillard played just 29 regular season games last year, averaging 24 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. This was considered a down year for the the 32-year-old, shooting just 40% from the field and 32% from outside the arc.

The six-time NBA All-Star was drafted by Portland in 2012 with the sixth overall pick, in a draft class headlined by ring holders Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, and Khris Middleton.

Portland could potentially open up as a popular free agent destination next summer, with a promising young core featuring Anfernee Simons supported by Jerami Grant, Jusuf Nurkic, Gary Payton II, and Josh Hart.

“I want to win as a Trail Blazer,” Lillard told The Ringer. “I want to win a championship where I am. I don’t think I would feel the same joy and happiness if I did it elsewhere. I would be happy, no doubt. Like winning a chip, you get that experience. But I know how I want it.”

Lillard is +4000 win the MVP award for the first time in NBA betting and has had some strong finishes in voting for the award across previous years; 6th (2020-21), 8th (2019-20), 6th (2018-19), 4th (2017-18), 8th (2015-16).

The guard’s message is simple: loyalty over everything. However in what appears to be a strong Western Conference, the Blazers will have to bring their A-game to each of their 82 regular season games if Lillard stands a chance at the honor.