A few hours before the grand final of the Olympic Games between Team USA and the France team, Damian Lillard took the time to discuss his personal future in the NBA in front of the media. And one of its releases is particularly reacting on the side of Portland and across the Atlantic.
Except in the event of a huge cardboard box on the night from Friday to Saturday, Damian Lillard will not leave Japan with an unforgettable memory of his own Olympic tournament. On the verge of facing the France team for the gold medal, Damian Lillard certainly does not arrive in this final with full confidence. His averages of 11.2 points, 3.2 assists and 35.9% at 3 points are indeed far from his NBA standards.
It must be said that the leader of the Blazers has not really approached the competition in the best way possible. Plunged into persistent transfer rumors, he finally preferred to wait to follow the unfolding of the free agency, and the moves of his franchise, before rushing his departure. Asked recently on the subject, he was initially sober and detached with Joe Vardon from The Athletic.
Honestly, I haven’t really looked into it. I really stayed focused on what’s going on here.
Then, his speech gradually turned into a review of this period so important to his future in the Portland franchise. And unfortunately for Rip City fans, this one was not necessarily meant to be very positive.
When you get into free agency and things like that, you never know what to expect. You never know where players are going to land, and why they are making those choices. You can just have discussions with them and try to convince them to join you on your team.
There are a lot of things that I can’t control. And obviously, by making the observation, we were not able to recover some of the players that we would have liked. So in those moments, you go down the list of guys who are still available, who you like and who haven’t given their approval to a team yet, and you get the ones they want to be on your project. And I think that’s what we did.
A quick glance at the recruitment made by the Blazers in recent days is enough to understand this lack of enthusiasm displayed by Dame. The main move, namely the extension of Norman Powell over 5 years, and for $ 90M, can initially make him smile. The arrival of Tony Snell, ultra-referenced shooter and holder of an incredible record for a few weeks, is placed as another good news.
For the rest, the signings of Cody Zeller and Ben McLemore, as well as the departures of Zach Collins, Enes Kanter, but especially Carmelo Anthony, do not necessarily have something to cheer up the big star of the team. Did all these deals therefore tip the scales one way or the other in Lillard’s mind? The latter answered the hot question, with an equally fiery statement.
« I haven’t made a firm decision yet on what my future will be like, » said Lillard after Team USA training at the Tokyo Olympics, adding that he didn’t think the Blazers are currently a contender. in the title, even with new coach Chauncey Billups.
Lillard added that while he expects to play with a Blazers jersey on his back next season, and wants to end his career in Portland, he wants to win a title: “Over time you want win everything. And we have to do what it takes to get there. «
The rumors, which had faded for a time, will now be able to resume again!
Disappeared from the hallway noises following a previous update, Damian Lillard could re-integrate them faster than expected with this release. In any case, he did nothing to prevent that.