Damian Lillard Says ‘I’m Not Leaving Portland’ and One Reason Why Chauncey Billups – The Athletic

Let’s start with this, at the very beginning, and right from the man’s mouth: Damian Lillard, on Friday, again said he wanted to stay in Portland.

It doesn’t matter if the Blazers start this season losing more games than they won. Doesn’t matter if they struggle to make it to the knockout stages. It doesn’t matter if another superstar lobbies for his services.

“People are 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.

It was an even stronger affirmation of his loyalty to Trail Blazers than what he did on media day when he swore he would “go out with his shield” try to bring a title to Portland.

But never has he revealed exactly why his mind and heart returned to Portland after a tumultuous summer when he thought about uprooting Portland.

Main reason? New Coach Chauncey Billups.

Lillard told The Athletic that a series of conversations with Billups over the summer helped shape his thinking about Portland and what might happen if he stays.

The conversations – Billups said it was five or six, some of them in person, some on the phone – covered basketball philosophy, strategy and concepts. But they also relate to themes that have gone to the core of Lillard. They talk about family, life after basketball and the qualities found in a winner.

Lillard leaves behind inspiring, encouraging, and passionate conversations.

https://theathletic.com/2901000/2021/10/19/damian-lillard-says-im-not-leaving-portland-and-one-reason-why-is-chauncey-billups/?source=rss | Damian Lillard Says ‘I’m Not Leaving Portland’ and One Reason Why Chauncey Billups – The Athletic

John Verrall

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