Trail Blazers

Jalen Rose praises Damian Lillard for staying in Portland, defends small market teams

Trail Blazers

We all know ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith loves to make headlines that spark some type of controversy.

Especially when it involves Portland’s own Damian Lillard.

Last Friday, Smith, a Knicks fan, was pleading for Lillard to leave the small market that is Portland and head to a bigger market like New York or Los Angeles.

[Related:Damian Lillard is remaining zen despite blatant disrespect from ESPN]

Obviously, Portland fans didn’t want to hear what Smith had to say about what he thinks Lillard should do.

And neither did former NBA player Jalen Rose.

On Monday, Rose provided a counterargument for players like Lillard to stay in the NBA’s smaller market teams.

In the clip, Rose highlighted Lillard’s career in Portland and how big he is still able to gain huge endorsements.

I like that Dame stayed with the Portland Trail Blazers. Put your anchor down, like those guys have done. It’s not stopping you in endorsements. Who gets more commercials than Dame? Does anyone get more commercials than Dame? It ain’t because he is in a large market. It’s because he’s a great player.

Jalen Rose

Rose does have a fair point. Anytime you watch a Blazers game, Lillard has a commercial airing throughout the entire span of the game.

So as small as Portland is as a market, Lillard is massive on a national scale.

Lillard also shows up when the light are on him. In the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, He had 32 points and was a few points behind All-Star MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Did I forget to mention he did all that from the bench? 

For the season, Lillard is averaging 29.8 points and 8.0 assists per game.

So yes, he does play in a small market, but Lillard is easily one of the biggest names in the NBA right now.