Damian Lillard is one of the most intensely-loyal stars in the NBA — but that doesn't mean other NBA stars haven't tried to recruit him.
In the summer of 2021, Lillard was in town to shoot a music video when Los Angeles superstar LeBron James invited him to his Brentwood estate.
“He was just like, ‘Pull up to the house,’” Lillard said in a recent interview with Logan Murdock of The Ringer. “And I’m like, shit, I’m out here. Tomorrow is the only day I ain’t got nothing planned out. I can pull up for a little bit.”
At the time, Lillard was nearing the end of his contract with the Blazers. Both Portland and Los Angeles were coming off first-round exits in the 2021 postseason — opening the door for a mutually-beneficial partnership.
Lillard ate dinner at the James estate with LeBron and Anthony Davis.
“I wasn’t even looking at it like a recruiting process,” Lillard added. “The whole time I was like, ‘I play for the Blazers.’ My only point is, let’s give ourselves a chance. I wasn’t sending no shots or sending no threats. I’m just honest. When I get asked a question, I answer the question. Because these questions had never been asked.”
Just as he has his whole career, Lillard ultimately decided to stick with the team that selected him with the No. 6 overall pick in 2012. He signed a two-year, $225 million max contract extension with the franchise earlier this summer — locking him in through the 2026-27 season.
“People make a joke out of it sometimes, like, ‘Man, he’s too loyal, he don’t want to win, he just want his money,’” he said. “I don’t take nothing away from those guys. I think a lot of times because of my stance on it, people try to put my stance on it as if I’m belittling or I’m saying something bad about the guys that do move. And I’m not. I’m just standing on my square about what I believe. They can do whatever they want; if that’s what makes them happy, then do it.”