Damian Lillard says that he plans on spending career in Portland
“I do, I do (see myself spending my whole career in Portland). I’ve had my share of people saying ‘Man, you got to get out of there! You’ve got to do this, you’ve got do to that.’ But I’m the type of person that I’m never going to be marching to the beat of nobody else’s drum. I’m gonna always do what I feel like is in my best interest and that I really feel in my heart.
“I’ve said this on many different occasions, they call it ‘He’s being loyal!’ and ‘Loyalty this, loyalty that’ and I’m like, I’m naturally a loyal person, but I do have a level of loyalty to the organization, but this loyalty that they’re talking about is ultimately to who I am as a person. I’m being loyal to who I am and not getting beside myself because I’m somebody that, I believe what I believe. I think I can get it done.
“Now, everybody else might say ‘There’s no way the Blazers will ever win. They need to do this, they need to do that.’ But that’s just not how I feel about the situation. I feel like we’ll have a chance to win, I feel like that moment is going to come, I feel like that opportunity is going to come. And that’s that.”
(via Casey Holdahl at NBA.com)
After the retooling that Portland has done over the past two seasons, it appears that Dame is happy with where the organization is at. They traded for Jerami Grant, re-signed Anfernee Simons, and drafted Shaedon Sharpe with the No. 7 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. They’ll also get Dame and Jusuf Nurkic back after the duo missed a combined 79 games last season.
Dame also referred to Sharpe as an “All-world talent” on the podcast. Sharpe was enrolled at Kentucky last year but didn’t end up playing a game for them. Sharpe was the top player in the 2022 high school class on 247 Sports before reclassifying to the 2021 class, where he was ranked No. 3. That ranking, and what he did in individual workouts for teams, must have been enough for Portland to draft him with their lottery pick.
The rumors of Dame being traded and fans demanding their teams trade for him won’t stop, but he’s making it clear that he wants to remain in Portland and bring a championship to Portland as Bill Walton did, which he stated in his 2019 song “Bill Walton”.
It remains to be seen if Portland has done enough to make their team a contender. It’s a deep team that has the potential to return to the postseason.
“We’re going to have to grind it out and go take stuff, but I love where we are right now,” Lillard said. “In this moment, I love where we are.”