My best advice right now, Trail Blazer fans – ignore the rumors.
The best source for information about Damian Lillard is Damian Lillard.
And the Trail Blazer guard said Friday afternoon that he expects to be in a Trail Blazer uniform next season. That’s after a morning when a social media tornado swirled around rumors that he was on the verge of asking for a trade. Or not asking, depending on who you follow on Twitter.
That, of course, led to speculation about which teams would want him, which ones could offer the best package and where he would want to go. It was a "Damenado" of a day.
Social media is proving to be the perfect place for wannabe pundits to wrap their speculation, unfounded rumors and booming ego up in a bag labeled as “my sources.”
Lillard has never been a drama guy and says he isn’t being one now.
“The drama isn't coming from me,” he said Friday, “so, I think that's what makes me most comfortable. I take solace in knowing I'm not shy about saying what I have to say. So, when I speak up more in some moments where people are used to me saying less, or being quiet or, you know, kind of just falling back … something can be made of that.
“I think that's more of what it is. But I feel perfectly at peace, as far as everything that's going on -- on the internet or with reports, because I know that I'm fully in control of myself. I know I'm not stepping out of bounds or not doing anything uncharacteristic as a person.
“It might be unusual for everybody else, but my intentions are always right. I always come correct. I'm still in that same space, I think everybody else has just been creating drama, more than I'm just creating drama.”
Look, I don’t even pretend to know what Damian Lillard’s end game is. My best guess is that he wants to stay in Portland and is giving the front office a not-so-gentle nudge to make something happen. He is, of course, surrounded by the current “ring culture” – which means that if you didn’t win a championship during your career, you just weren’t as good as those who did.
That has often led to more concern, in many cases, with “legacy” rather than “right now.”
Lillard has been playing in a city that loves him way beyond what a normal basketball player should ever expect. And for an owner and front office who gave him the keys to the franchise.
Oh, and for a coach who allowed him as much freedom as anyone who ever played the game.
If he wants to leave, that’s his business, within the constraints of that monster Portland contract that provides him generational wealth.
And if it comes to a trade demand, I believe he should be dealt – but only if the trade is as beneficial to the Trail Blazers as it is to him.
Until that time, I would ask that Portland fans listen to Damian Lillard, not those who would have "sources" speak for him.
And I would ask Damian Lillard to be careful of what he wishes for. There are worse places to be.