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Back home Portland does it right, celebrates Lillard becoming franchise leading scorer

Damian Lillard — the greatest Portland Trail Blazer ever — became the franchise’s leading scorer last week with a couple of free throws in Oklahoma City that moved him past Clyde Drexler.

The moment was noted at the time, but it’s the kind of thing best celebrated at home — and the kind of thing the NBA should celebrate (instead of the ringzzz or bust culture that can suck the joy out of the game itself). Back home in Portland Monday, the Trail Blazers got it right with a post-game celebration (after the Blazers beat the Hornets). Lillard spoke to the fans during the ceremony.

“There’s only one thing left to accomplish, and I think y’all know what that is,” Lillard told the crowd there to celebrate him. “We’ve just got to get this one last thing done, and that will wrap this up and finish the script for me.”

While he was in the spotlight, his kids stole the show.

Lillard has stayed in Portland, been dedicated to the community, and put together a Hall of Fame resume over 11 seasons. He was the Rookie of the Year (2013), a six-time All-NBA, a six-time All-Star, one of the 75 greatest players in the history of the game, and he has taken the Trail Blazers to the Western Conference finals. He has always been active in the community with his charitable foundation — he’s been committed to Portland as more than just a player.

There always seems to be rumors about Lillard — other teams covet him and hope he bolts town. But a guy who stays dedicated to his city, his team, and his community and is not just a mercenary for hire should be celebrated.