Blazers news: Every NBA team has a long list of players who stood out and became All-Stars or even Hall of Famers. Then, those who excel strive even harder to earn the reputation as the franchise’s greatest of all-time.
Damian Lillard is trying to be that guy for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Over the past couple of years, Lillard has ascended into the top of the NBA’s best guards. Last season, he led the Blazers to the Western Conference Finals, and although they were swept by the Golden State Warriors, it gave him confidence that Portland is inching closer to winning a championship and that him winning the MVP award is no longer farfetched.
In an interview with Billboard.com’s Eric Diep, Dame said that he already has the numbers to be recognized as one of the best players to ever don a Blazers jersey..
“I want to be the best Trail Blazer ever. And I think, it’s bigger than basketball to me. I think, obviously, you have to have the numbers to back it up which I am already on track for. I’m second in points. I think I am top three in assists. Free throws made, three pointers made, I’m No. 1. Like I’m up there as far as the stats.
However, Dame also understands that his legacy in Portland will be cemented if he brings a championship and an MVP trophy to the city. And that’s something that he wants to accomplish in the near future.
“I think just continue to win. We’ve had three 50-plus win seasons in my seven seasons, one that wasn’t a 50-win season was a 49-win season. I’ve been All-NBA four times. I was first team All-NBA. I’ve been on four All-Star teams. Played in the Western Conference Finals this past year. I hold the [team’s] single-game scoring record. All these records, like everything. I just think an MVP, a championship.”
In his seven seasons with the Blazers, Lillard has averaged 23.5 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.2 rebounds. He’s never missed less than 73 games during that span, which also speaks volumes about his durability as a player. But despite his impressive resume, he always falls short of leading Portland to the Finals.
Dame is already 29 years old, and while he’s still in his prime, he’s probably going to stay there for just a couple more years before we see signs of decline in his game, and that’s not a knock on him. He will still be one of the best players in the league next season, but his championship window is already closing.
Still, Lillard is optimistic about the Blazers’ chances this upcoming season, and if he becomes an even better player, Portland might just shock the world.
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