Doubts about Damian Lillard’s permanence in Portland have become a never ending story. Every time the issue seems to be settled, a new line of rumors soon appears that sows confusion. This time, it didn’t even have to be leaks or dubious rumors, but it is Chauncey Billups, the current Blazers coach, who brings the debate back to the fore. In its recent interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, the technician revealed the message he dedicated to his star shortly after being hired. I’ve come here to train you. But it’s your career. I will not be the one to implore you to stay.
These statements put back into perspective how close Damian Lillard came to dating last summer. It has been weeks since the player declared his intention to play the season with the Blazers, but testimonies such as Billups suggest that his departure will continue to be on the lips of the entire NBA environment. “I have a job to do and I want to do it with you, obviously. But if at any time you feel that there is another place for you, it will be up to you to make the decision for you and your family.
Throughout his career including the disappointing end of the past playoffs, Damian Lillard’s commitment to Portland has been taken for granted. Not for nothing is the perfect example of an altruistic star committed to the community that surrounds the franchise and its city. However, this summer has meant a point of no return in which the player’s permanence depends almost solely on the team’s sporting result. To the leak of Chris Haynes assuring that Lillard would request the transfer, the star replied saying that it was not true and that he expected changes in the franchise that would make them win.
Lillard’s character and his affiliation with the city of Portland make his ultimatums longer than most. But every little hint is that if success doesn’t come by surprise, Dame’s days at the Blazers have started to count down.
(Cover photo by Donald Miralle / Getty Images)