Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard is ready for the NBA's Royal Rumble

Trail Blazers

It's show time!

16 teams will enter the NBA playoffs, 20 if you count the play-in teams, but at the end of the day, only one will be crowned champion. 

One of those teams with a chance at the crown is the Portland Trail Blazers. 

Portland clinched a playoff berth on Sunday with a 132-116 victory over the Denver Nuggets. 

As the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference, the Blazers will start their run to the title with a first-round rematch against the No. 3 Nuggets. 

The playoffs are no joke. As the old saying goes, only the strong survive. 

For Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, the playoffs remind him of the WWE Royal Rumble. 

"I'm a big wrestling fan," Lillard said after Sunday's victory. "Everybody don't get to participate in the Royal Rumble but we've been in the Royal Rumble eight years straight. We haven't been the last man standing yet, but we in there every time. We one of the teams in there. Sometimes we've been the first team thrown over the rope... I'm always one of the last few thrown over the rope."

The Royal Rumble is one of WWE's marquee events. The match features 30 participants, each entering one by one. If you get thrown over the top rope, you are eliminated. Be the last one standing in the middle of the ring and you're declared the winner. So, you can see what Lillard is saying. 

The WWE roster features 100s of superstars, but only a select few get the honor of being in the rumble. Just like the NBA playoffs, just getting in is a feat in and of itself. For the Blazers, being in the "rumble" has become the expectation. Portland currently holds the NBA's longest active streak of postseason appearances - 8 years - and hopefully, this is the year the hard work pays off.

 

"We just continue to be there. A lot of teams haven't been there in a long time. A lot of teams are in and out. Some teams have been there like we have, just hasn't been the last man standing either," said Lillard.

"There's something to be said about our effort year after year after year regardless of what the circumstances are. Regardless of the adversity we run into. At whatever point of the season, we find a way."

The Blazers found a way to get in the rumble, but they aren't there just to say they showed up. They're there to make noise.

"This team, we coming into this postseason not to just say this is our eight straight. We're coming in to try and make something happen. If it don't, it don't. But we coming in here to get something done."

Just like Edge entered the 2021 Royal Rumble at No.1 and overcame the odds to outlast 29 other superstars to win it all, and just like Bianca Belair entered at No.3 but still won 2021 Women's Royal Rumble, the Blazers hope to do the same.

The journey to immortality starts with throwing Denver over the top rope. 

If there is anyone that can do it, it's Dame 3:16.

Will the Blazers raise the championship belt?