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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Palmore

It's time for Damian Lillard to get out of Portland

Updated: Jan 1, 2022

After an offseason filled with speculation about Damian Lillard's future with the Trail Blazers, the star guard came into the season saying he has no plans to demand a trade out of Portland. This season has also been Chauncey Billups' first season as head coach and it really has been a disaster. The Blazers sit at 14th in the west only above the Houston Rockets with teams such as the King, Pelicans, and Thunder being in front of them. Dame has given all he can give to the Blazers, but it's time for him to look elsewhere to another team where he can truly contend for a championship.

Photo provided by SB Nation: Blazers Edge

Damian Lillard was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers with the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. During his tenure with the Blazers, Lillard has made a name for himself as one of the most skilled, exciting, and clutch players in the league. He has been selected to the All-Star team six times and has led the Blazers to the playoffs in eight out of his nine seasons with the team. However, the Dame and the Blazers have only managed to advance past the first round just three times in eight appearances. The most memorable of these runs was the 2019 postseason when Lillard scored 50 points in the closeout game 5 against the Thunder and hit one of the greatest buzzers beaters in NBA history to seal the deal. After that, Portland came out on top against the Denver Nuggets in an exhilarating seven game series where Portland managed to win game seven on the road in Denver. Then in the conference finals, Dame and the Blazers caught a huge break when Kevin Durant could not play in the series due to a calf injury. However, Portland could not capitalize on the opportunity and got swept by the Warriors, ending what was a magical playoff run.Portland retooled and brought everybody back for next year, but the team regressed severely and lost in the first round to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Photo provided by MARCA

At the end of the day, fair or unfair, the greatest players in the game are ultimately remembered for what they accomplished in the postseason and specifically, winning championships. Although Lillard has expressed multiple times that winning a title is not the end all be all for him, he will think about this differently if he stays in Portland for his entire career and never wins a title. The way people will talk about him will be, "He was an amazing player but, he never won a championship." Throughout this era, there have been many examples of stars moving elsewhere to try and capture a title such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Paul George because they know that no matter what they accomplish in their careers, they will be judged on how many championships they were able to win.

Damian Lillard is an amazing player who has accomplished a lot throughout his career and although winning a championship may not be the most important thing to him, he is a superstar and superstars are defined by championships.

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