Damian Lillard dominated NBA news headlines on Saturday after he officially requested a trade away from the Portland Trail Blazers. It was a shocking turn of events, no doubt, because after more than a decade of unwavering loyalty to the team, Dame finally said that enough is enough.
In spite of the trade rumors that hounded Lillard throughout the summer, the general expectation was he was not leaving Portland. After all, Dame has been linked to a move away from the Blazers at virtually every turn, making the fans somewhat immune to all these trade buzz. Well, that all changed on Saturday after the seven-time All-Star officially declared his desire to move on to greener pastures. Lillard even specifically requested a trade to the Miami Heat, so at this point, it’s up to the Blazers to try and find a deal that will be amenable to all parties involved.
Portland Trail Blazers Fans Have Began ‘Turning On’ Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard has always been a loyal servant to Portland. Since the Blazers drafted him as the No. 6 overall pick in 2012, the 6-foot-2 point guard has done everything he can to carry this team to the promised land.
In 2019, Lillard led the Blazers all the way to the Western Conference Finals, only to succumb to Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in an embarrassing 4-0 sweep. Other than that memorable postseason run, however, Lillard’s time in Portland has been characterized by early playoff exits year after year. To make matters worse, the Blazers have missed the postseason altogether for the past two seasons.
You can’t really hate on Damian Lillard for wanting to jump ship at this point in his career. He’s going to be 33 this month and he won’t be around for very much longer. He clearly doesn’t believe that the Blazers can compete for a championship this season, which is obviously something that has become a top priority for Lillard.
Can you really blame him for wanting to move on now after everything he’s done for the Blazers? Well, some Portland fans seem to believe that they have the right to do so. More than a few supporters out there have turned on Lillard as they see this trade request as nothing more than a sign of utter betrayal.
Dame has caught wind of the slander, and he’s come out with a strong message for anyone and everyone who believes that he’s betraying the Blazers:
“It’s in my blood to take the high road. I’d love to hear what fans are turning on… have I mislead them? Or anyone ? Fill me in,” Lillard wrote in his tweet.
It’s in my blood to take the high road. I’d love to hear what fans are turning on… have I mislead them? Or anyone ? Fill me in https://t.co/rkn7irDlpo
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) July 2, 2023
Milwaukee Bucks Fans Would Riot If Giannis Antetokounmpo Followed In Damian Lillard’s Footsteps
Damian Lillard’s situation is something to learn from for Milwaukee Bucks fans. Much like Dame, Giannis Antetokounmpo has been nothing but loyal to the team that drafted him many years ago. The main difference is that Giannis has already led the Bucks to a championship.
Things haven’t been as peachy since Milwaukee’s 2021 title run, though. As a matter of fact, rumors have now emerged that opposing teams are currently monitoring Antetokunmpo’s situation with the Bucks amid their slump. Giannis is eligible to sign an extension with Milwaukee this summer, and if there’s any indication that his long-term future with the franchise is uncertain, then you can be sure that this will sound the alarm for every other team in the NBA.
Will Giannis pull a Damian Lillard and request a trade away from the Bucks anytime in the future? There’s no way to tell at this point. However, Milwaukee fans will likely riot if this ever happens.
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