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.
The NBA is the pettiest professional sports league in the United States. No one is going to argue about that. Enes Kanter is one of the main reasons for that case being so strong. Every time something goes his way, such as a Playoff series he really didn’t do anything in, his Twitter fingers turn to trigger fingers and he takes his shot. This time, the victim is the Denver Nuggets.
Kick them while they are down. This man just loves trolling entire states. Just three months ago, he was making sure that he would never be welcomed back in the state of New York.
He simply cannot physically restain himself from making enemies on Twitter. Kanter is just classic twitter troll. The reactions keep him going and fuel his fire. No response can ever make him change; he just sits back and watches the world burn. Maybe he should keep his battles to just NBA teams though. He has been known to chirp the president of Turkey from time to time, in the name of democracy which is admirable, but the backlash kept him from playing the NBA London game earlier this year.
Damian Lillard had a truly magically close out performance against the Thunder. 50 points, 7 boards, 6 assists. The only thing a coach can say to his team at that point is to give him the ball and get out of his way. And that is exactly what they did for the last play of the game. One shot. Damian Lillard be guarded Paul George. 40 feet away from the basket, back where it all started.
Watch the play again and keep an eye on the back corner by OKC’s bench. That is where Seth Curry was telling the OKC bench that Dame was sending them home. He just did what Larry Bird and Michael Jordan used to do before big shots, but for somebody else. Which, in a way, is almost more impressive. The stare down after is just wildly disrespectful. Now, the Thunder have plenty of time to be butthurt about it as they fail to make the second round for the third straight year.
It was “a bad shot” from Lillard according to Paul George, but when he has proven that he can make that shot multiple times and already has 47 points, maybe Playoff P should have gotten a hand in his face sooner. Lucky for Seth, Dame is money from 40 feet and closer.
The pettiness of the NBA Playoffs is what makes them so entertaining even when the games are over. Jared Dudley vs. the city of Philadelphia was great. Russ vs. Dame was even better. But the best petty war that has been going on the entire season has been Enes Kanter vs. the New York Knicks organization.
If there was going to be a headline that came out after the Thunder/Blazers series, I figured it would have been Russ saying that he was still better than Dame, maybe something like this:
But it turns out that there is someone else that is even pettier that Russ and he has a vendetta against the Knicks, James Dolan and rest of their front office. Enes Kanter gives one last middle finger to the Knicks in his press conference after finally making it past the first round. Take a look:
“I would definitely like to thank the Knicks for waiving me.” Kanter might secretly be the funniest person in the NBA.