Trail Blazers

Terry Porter on Damian Lillard: He wants to be a champion

Trail Blazers

Game recognize game. 

Portland Trail Blazers legend and University of Portland head basketball coach Terry Porter joined the Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon and discussed the point guard chasing Porter in the Blazers record books, Damian Lillard

Over Lillard's eight seasons in a Trail Blazer uniform, Porter has come away with a key takeaways: He wants to be great. 

Dame, from all I've known, is he wants to be a champion. He wants to be part of a championship team.

- Terry Porter

Given Dame's outspoken loyalty to the organization, stating on numerous occasions he wants to retire a Blazer, it's no shock "The Letter O" wants to bring some hardware to Rip City. 

"He wants to bring [a championship] to this organization," Porter said. "He wants to bring that to the state. So I'm sure he's going to continue to fight for that and continue to do everything he can, in regards to preparing his body and making sure that the roster's built to a level where he can contend to pursue that."

Porter used to be in Dame's position. As a Trail Blazer for 10 seasons, Porter started for some the best Trail Blazers teams of all time, including NBA Finals appearances in 1990 and 1992, but he could never get over the hump to bring the Larry O'Brien Trophy to Portland.

Lillard wants to win the franchise's second championship. He has stated he wants to accomplish that for the city of Portland, and more importably, he believes he can do it in Portland.

"I feel like we can build something and get it done in Portland," Lillard said following a Blazers victory this August. "And I really believe that. I don’t just say it to say it.”

 

To do so, Lillard dedicates himselg year-round to optimize his performance during the season. 

As Porter mentions during his interview, Dame takes expert care of his body in the offseason while preparing for the exhausting journey of the NBA season. 

"Lillard strikes me as a young man that... does a great job of making sure his body is protected and groomed over the summer," explained Porter. "Fresh but also challenged. Increasing the muscle, the flexibility, everything he needs for sustainability in regards to his career."

But, how long does Lillard have? Porter thinks given all the drive and care Lillard puts into his body, the 30-year-old point guard still has plenty of time in Rip City.

"It's based on his own legacy, how long he wants to play," Porter said. "The kids nowadays have a great amount of resources and have built up an unbelievable financial picture. That if you don't want to play til you're 39 or 40 and continue to chase it, if you look at LeBron and some of these other guys, they're continuing to trying to [build] a legacy."

Lillard's legacy in Rip City has already been established, but Dame won't let up from his pursuit of the Larry O'Brien trophy. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon!]