Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has no desire to play for any other team. He wants to win as a Trail Blazer. The six-time All-Star made his point clear to Logan Murdock of The Ringer.
“I want to win as a Trail Blazer,” Lillard explained. “I want to win a championship where I am, and I don’t think I would feel the same joy and happiness if I did it elsewhere. And I would be happy, no doubt.”
Some NBA betting sites are giving the Trail Blazers the 12th-lowest odds to win the championship in 2023. However, sportsbooks are expecting the Western Conference team to return to the playoffs.
— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) October 12, 2022
“Like winning a chip, you get that experience,” continued Damian Lillard. “But I know how I want it.”
In the 2021-22 season, Lillard appeared in only 29 games due to an abdominal injury. He averaged 24 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per contest. Also, the guard shot 40.2% from the floor and 32.4% from 3-point range.
Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups also sat down for an interview with Murdock. “The biggest message that I wanted to send to Dame,” Billups told the staff writer, “was that this thing needs to be built around making sure we bring people around that can actually help him be better.”
Damian Lillard wants to win a championship with the Trail Blazers
More importantly, Dame trusts his new coach. While the Trail Blazers finished 27-55 (.329) last season, the guard missed most of the season and the team underwent a few changes.
In February, Portland traded CJ McCollum, Tony Snell, and Larry Nance Jr. to the New Orleans Pelicans for Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Josh Hart, Didi Louzada, Tomas Satoransky, a 2022 first-round draft pick, a 2026 second-round draft pick, and a 2027 second-round draft pick.
“That’s why I f—k with him so heavy,” said Damian Lillard on Billups. “He knows the game, he’s a thinker, he’s a players’ coach, he has relationships with everybody, but I know he’s going to keep it solid.”
Last season proved that Lillard is the Trail Blazers’ MVP. Without him, the team is not a playoff contender. That should go without saying. Portland missed the playoffs last season for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
Can the Trail Blazers win a championship with Damian Lillard? Well, the 32-year-old could use another superstar to help him win. This rests entirely on G.M. Joe Cronin.
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