According to Toronto Sports Network, Damian Lillard is “not a team up type of person.”
Lillard says that he wants a challenge. However, the Warriors made it pretty clear that teaming up can still bring all kinds of challenges in itself. In order to win NBA Championships nowadays, you need a minimum or three all stars or for the other teams all stars to all get devastatingly injured at the same time. Basically, teaming up is the only way to control your own destiny unless you’re Zaza Pachulia.
Damian Lillard has made it very clear that he is not leaving Portland. Loyalty is important to him which is refreshing in today’s NBA. If he is going to be on a championship team, players will have to come to him. Since he isn’t a “team up” guy, this means no monster trades or free agent signings. So, the only other way to get championship caliber players to the Blazers is by the NBA Draft. And if Portland’s history tells us anything, well, good luck with that.
Drafting Lillard and McCollum out of Weber State and Lehigh, Portland can find a diamond in the rough better than most teams. But when faced with top lottery picks, they have accounted for both of the two worst draft blunders of all time.
In 1984, they took Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan. If you don’t know who Sam Bowie is, that’s my point. Then, later on in 2007, Portland took Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant and we all know how that turned out.
In order for Lillard to bring a championship to Portland now is to pray and hope that the Blazers find a couple more diamonds in the rough like a Nikola Jokic or Kawhi Leonard. Guys who are incredible but don’t get the recognition they deserve because they don’t have the name Duke or Kentucky associated with them. Until then, it looks like the Blazers will continue to fall victim to the ever growing Western Conference.