Lillard unnecessarily invents reasons to leave Portland

Dame Lillard should get the hell out of Portland. That’s what he seems to want to do, and he probably has the leverage to do it. No one can say he failed to give the Blazers a nice shake. He’s been with the organization since he was drafted sixth overall in 2012, has made six All-NBA Teams, qualified for the playoffs every year except his rookie season, has won a handful of great playoff games more or less by himself, and built his heroic legend in the Pacific Northwest.

There are superstars whose ring seems to indicate a defect in their characters or abilities. Dame is not like that. He did just about as much as he could do with what was provided to him in Portland: LaMarcus Aldridge, CJ McCollum, a cast of small strikers who can’t pull off, Jusuf Nurkić struggling to stay healthy. Overall, the Blazers were good but not great. Much of it is to Dame’s credit. The big part is not your fault.

His condensed life as a ballplayer is closer to its end than its beginning. He will be 31 in two weeks. At 40, he will be out of the league or barely hanging. At 35, he could no longer be an elite player. There is simply not much time for him to win a title as a major contributor, and it will not happen in Portland, not imminently. Dame has been complaining about this situation with what she thinks has been going on for more than a year now, and after the Blazers season ended abruptly against a battered Denver Nuggets team, she made her displeasure more explicit. :

“Obviously where we are isn’t good enough to win a championship, if it’s not good enough to get out of a first-round series with two of those [the Nuggets’] better three or four players not on the ground. “

So Neil Olshey shot Terry Stotts and he argued in vain that the Blazers were fast “wasn’t a product on the list,” but we know it’s on thin ice. The thing is, there is no obvious change Olshey can make that will transform his team into a title candidate. McCollum for Ben Simmons? Any junk matching for Kevin Love? Unless Joel Embiid suddenly realizes what has been his dream since he was a child to become the Cameroonian Bill Walton, the Blazers are blocked.

Let me know. That’s why you’re now asking for a trade or thinking about asking for a trade – or, sorry, “league sources” tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo that “the huge reaction from the Portland Trail Blazers process to hiring a new coach is [Lillard’s] worries about whether a championship candidate can be built have become factors that can push the franchise player … out of the door. ”Note the strange passive voice, as Newtonian physics would be to blame for the departure of Haynes and Dame are tight, he works like a mouthpiece here, not a journalist.

This recruitment process complaint is a strip. Olshey brought Chauncey Billups as the new head of the Blazers with Dame’s approval. He he said so publicly a few weeks ago, “J-Kidd and Chauncey, that’s what I like.”

Those were not the only options. The names of Becky Hammon and Mike D’Antoni have been in the titles, the vague ones in consideration stories that revolve around vacant coaching positions. Dame is the most important person in the organization, so the Blazers have made their choice. It goes well as long as it goes, but longer conscious members of the media brought a rape allegation in 1997 against Billups, and the news made some Blazers fans uneasy or frankly opposed to him taking the job.

Needless to say, NBA teams typically get over these concerns. Shortly after Luke Walton was announced as the Kings ’new coach in 2019, a female reporter he approached with an accusation of sexual assault that the Ottoman sacrament did not comment on and just hoped he would leave. (She finally did, when she dropped her civil lawsuit against Walton.) Last Friday the Mavericks, perhaps trying to build its vast history of being a terrible place for a woman to work, she decided to put on board Dame’s other favorite: Jason Kidd, domestic abuser. Now the Blazers have decided on Billups, finally deciding that they want him to be their coach more than they want to elicit a head of public relations. (We don’t pretend there’s ever been a moral dimension to this.) Dame likes her, Olshey knows him well and she does. Whatever happened in the late 90s most people will forget about it though, if they even bothered.

Outside, except: Over the weekend, a guy with less than 300 Twitter followers expressed some fear for Billups ’move, assigning Lillard his fair share of the blame. Dame, apparently looking for a name on a Saturday morning, quote-tweet this obscure fan, replies that he didn’t know about the allegations (not the best but OK) and insinuates that he was barely involved in the hiring process (uh-huh, sure). About 24 hours later, the Haynes report collapsed. The lede is mentioned above, but here’s the most ridiculous part:

“Lillard has remained loyal to Portland in large part because of the tremendous fan base. But in recent days, he has seen some of these same fans attack him on social media for a pending coaching engagement that he did not participate in consuming, sources said.

Again, Dame Civil took the umbrella with someone who didn’t tag her and had less than 300 followers. It certainly seems that someone invents reasons to be angry.

Dame feels he has to do this because of him accused Paul George’s “escape from the grind” to join Kawhi Leonard in Los Angeles, and since last February, he said he it would never be assembled a super team. It doesn’t seem like a hypocrite should partake in playing with LeBron James in Los Angeles, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler in Miami, or some superstar yet to be determined in New York. So, he was blinded and angered by the Blazers hiring a coach he publicly endorsed and is deeply baffled that a handful of nobodies on Twitter say they would have preferred Portland to hire someone without an accusation of aggression. sexual in his past. As you can clearly see, the situation is unbearable — trust inviolably broken, doubt in the air like brine in the sea wind.

It would be more than good if Dame just said she wants to leave. He’s in his early 30s and doesn’t think he can win with a franchise he’s been running for almost a decade. There is no shame in this. Don’t leave your life if you don’t need it. But Lillard is trapped by his own myth – the loyal, fierce underdog – and tries to reconcile his current desires with what he thinks he should be, for other people. Dame Lillard ™ makes Dame Lillard look like a disillusioned donkey. He has created obligations for himself, and it is already difficult enough to be satisfied with your work.

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