Damian Lillard has made it no secret that he isn’t happy with how the Portland Trail Blazers have handled themselves this offseason.
Between his disappointment with how the organization went about hiring a new coach and ensuing call-out of the front office’s ‘failed’ free agency recruitment, he has been very honest with his annoyance.
This week, new Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups delivered a relatively blunt message to his team’s best player.
That message? No one is going to beg you to stay.
Trail Blazers Head Coach Chauncey Billups reveals his message to Damian Lillard.
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) October 7, 2021
“I came here to coach you, but it’s your career,” Billups told Lillard, as he relayed in a recent interview on SiriusXM NBA Radio.
“It’s your life and it’s your family. I’ve been there before, and I’m not going to be the guy preaching, ‘Stay here, go there, do this.’ No. I’ve got a job to do. I want to do it with you obviously. But if at some point you deem, ‘Hey, another place is the place for me.’ That’s not going to be an indictment on myself. That’s going to be you making a decision for you and your family.”
PJ Washington’s new girlfriend is making quite the impression. https://t.co/Seaq1IPDzo
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 8, 2021
There are a lot of people who believe that Lillard will be a member of the Boston Celtics by Christmas. A smaller contingent believes he will remain in Portland through the entire 2021-22 season – and then spend the entirety of his career there.
This is going to be an interesting story to keep an eye on. If the Blazers get off to a hot start, obviously all the trade talk will dissipate. Should the opposite happen, however – don’t be surprised if Lillard ends up in a new uniform sooner rather than later.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.