Hart on Lillard’s trade rumors.
Damian Lillard (188 cm, G) is a franchise star for the Portland Trail Blazers. Lillard made his debut in the 2012-2013 season and has played exclusively in Portland.
In his rookie season, he averaged 19 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game and was touted as the future of the team. In his second season, he was named an All-Star, and he’s lived up to the team’s expectations by improving every season since.
But even without Lillard, Portland didn’t make much of a splash. They made it to the Conference Finals in the 2018-2019 season, but otherwise struggled. In particular, they were outclassed by the Golden State Warriors, who dominated the league at the time.
They also didn’t have the right players to help Lillard. CJ McCollum (190 cm, G) combined with Lillard for nine seasons, but their defensive weaknesses were highlighted and became a weakness for Portland. The third option, Yusef Nurkic (213 cm, C), hasn’t been injury-free.
Portland then traded McCollum during the 2021-2022 season to “retool”. One season later, the retooling had failed. Lillard averaged a career-high 32.2 points, 7.3 assists, and 4 rebounds this season, but the team went 33-49 and finished 13th in the West. This led to a lot of rumors about Lillard and Portland.
Josh Hart (193 cm, G), who played with Lillard in Portland, spoke out. Hart told Bleacher Report, “People think winning a championship is success. But that’s wrong. There’s more to success than just winning games. Like Lillard, who I played with in Portland. I only played with him for one year, but I learned so much from him. He really loves Portland and Portland loves him,” he said of Lillard.메이저놀이터
“I know Lillard wants to win, too. But he wants to do it the right way. That doesn’t mean he’s never going to leave Portland. That’s up to him. But I don’t want people to misunderstand his loyalty. He’s a great player on and off the court,” he said, continuing his praise for Lillard.
Lillard is an iconic Portland player, and he has expressed his love for the city many times. However, the relationship between Portland and Lillard is a strange one. It will be interesting to see if Lillard, one of the NBA’s few franchise stars, stays with Portland next season.