At the height of the NBA offseason there were endless reports that Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard was ready to move on from the only NBA team he’s ever known. But by the end of it, he was firmly entrenched in Portland with no plans to leave at all.
In a recent interview, Lillard credited conversations he had with Blazers first-year head coach Chauncey Billups with convincing him to stay. Lillard said that he came to realize that he and Billups have the same vision despite his initial misgivings.
“I think a big part of [my change in mindset] was me and Chauncey’s conversations, and where we see things the same,” Lillard said, per The Athletic. “I’m not going to share details of our conversations, but it’s not often when I speak to people that they see what I see. Watching a game, observing people… there’s not many people who see what I see. But a lot of what I see, he sees. So that was very important to me. Like, that was a big deal.”
Billups came with some baggage when he was hired to replace Terry Stotts in the offseason. That and the team’s inability to land another superstar to pair with Lillard had many believing that he was as good as gone.
Stop writing it. Stop saying it. Stop believing it. Damian Lillard isn’t going anywhere.
“I’m not leaving Portland,” @Dame_Lillard said. “…it’s not going to happen.”
One reason why? A series of conversations this summer with Chauncey Billups. https://t.co/ivi6qoaHpW
— Jason Quick (@jwquick) October 20, 2021
Damian Lillard made it clear that he wants to win a title with the Portland Trail Blazers.
“I like our staff, I like Chauncey a lot. And I love being a Trail Blazer,” Lillard said. “I love living in Portland. I love what I’ve built. And like I said on media day, I want to see it through. And a rocky start might be part of that, but that don’t mean I’m going to flip and do something different than what I’ve always done.”
Lillard will make his season debut tonight against the Sacramento Kings.
The game will be played at 10 p.m. EST and will air on NSCA.