Dame In Brooklyn? Nothing To See Here, Says NBA Insider.


I want it to be true. I wanted Damian Lillard’s recent appearance at the 76ers vs Nets playoff game in Brooklyn to mean he was out recruiting for next season.

But according to Chris Haynes on his This League Uncut podcast, that was not the case.

“I made a call to Damian Lillard himself,” Haynes said. “He told me he went there for some meetings. And he went there for some projects, some musical projects he’s working on.”

The NBA is a strange league. Often, things are said to try and help your image. Lillard is a guy who has said multiple times that he wouldn’t want to join a super team. But that doesn’t mean he can’t recruit players to join the Blazers.

Haynes said Lillard’s attendance for Brooklyn-Philly Game Three was an example of supporting a friend, not a recruiting tactic.

“Mikal Bridges. You know that’s a really good friend of his, and he said he went out there to support him.”

I didn’t see it that way.

Lillard has said before that Bridges is one of his favorite players in the league. So for me, it made sense to see Lillard at the game and think he was recruiting.

Haynes said that was not the case.

“I know people (who are) making the connection and all that stuff. Trying to connect dots. There’s no dots to be connected right now.”

If what Haynes is saying is the truth — and Haynes and Dame have a strong connection — then we shouldn’t be reading too much in to the visit to the Barclays Center. But as someone who covers the Blazers, and knows how important this offseason is, I can’t help but wonder.

Was there more to it than Dame simply being a fan at an NBA playoff game?