Lillard: What’s the point of making a new commitment to blazers?

Trail blazer star Damien Lillard admitted this week that he considered the possibility of leaving Portland in this offseason after a disappointing play-off loss to Denver in the spring, writes Athletic Jason Quick. However, after deciding not to trade, Lillard is committed to the franchise and has no desire to move even if the team starts slowly this season.

“Everyone is saying what they think I’m thinking, and what they think I’m going to do, but like, I’m not leaving Portland, you know?” Lillard said.

As a quick description, a series of conversations with new head coach Chansi Billups over the summer helped renew Lillard’s enthusiasm for staying with the Blazers. In addition to discussing basketball techniques and philosophy, the two men also talked about “family, the afterlife of basketball, and the qualities found in a winner.”

“I think a big part of (changing my mindset) was the conversation between me and Chance and where we see the same thing,” Lillard told The Athletic. “I’m not going to share the details of our conversation, but I don’t see what people see when I talk to them. Watching a game, watching people … there aren’t many people watching what I see. But he sees a lot of what I see. So it was very important to me. As such, it was a big deal. ”

When Billups was hired by the team in June, he knew Lillard was frustrated with how the 2020-21 season ended and was looking into whether he wanted to stay in Portland for the long term. However, the first-time head coach did not feel pressured by the six-time All-Star to stay with the team.

“I never told Dame, or told him to stay. Nothing. I never did it, ”said Billups. “I felt like the biggest thing I wanted to do was share the things that were important to me. This is what I do. This is what I am about. Then, it’s her decision: is it worth it? Or should I wear pants?

“… it was all organic,” he added. “It simply came to our notice then. It was a lot about family, life and life after Hoop. It was more than basketball. We have a great connection, and those healthy conversations are the kind that allow someone to make conscious decisions.

Lillard has three more confirmed years left on his contract with the Blazers, and has a player option for 2024-25, so it is possible to change his heart at some point before the expiration of this contract. However, it seems that the parties hoping he will seek a trade should not rely on what is happening soon. Lillard has bought the look of Billups for the franchise and is comfortably attached to Portland for the future.

“He was right where I wanted to go,” Lillard said, referring to the championship of winning the billup as a player with the Pistons. “This is where I landed. It’s something new; We are moving in a new direction. Let’s see if there is a cure. Let’s see. If I come half-hearted, I can’t see it. ”

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