At first, it’s hard to hear. But maybe he has a point.
Portland Trailblazers guard Damian Lillard, fresh off his 4th NBA All Star game appearance, was a guest on the “Posted Up” podcast with Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, in an episode published Tuesday.
Clip: Why he hasn’t requested a trade. pic.twitter.com/A5K7DdaiXZ
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 19, 2019
In the 40-minute conversation, Haynes and Lillard touch on all sorts of interesting topics, including Lillard’s thoughts on the Anthony Davis situation, the way free agents inaccurately view Portland as an NBA city, and most notably Lillard’s conviction that he will not “sell out for a championship.”
“I do want to win a championship,” Lillard says around the 25-minute mark. “But there’s other stuff that means more to me.
“It’s almost like I’m not willing to sell myself out [for a championship].”
Lillard cites the effect he has in the Portland community and the relationships he has with the city, the coaching staff and his teammates, and how those relationships matter more to him than does trying to win an NBA title by potentially leaving Rip City.
“I know in my heart I want to win a championship,” Dame says. “But it’s more important to me to know like, me and Chief, we’re really friends…me and CJ, we’re really friends.
“I could say, alright, I don’t want to be here, I want to go do this, ‘cuz I want to win. And I could ruin stuff for other people.”
Lillard also says his value to the franchise is not lost on him, and the grass is not necessarily greener outside of Portland.
“I don’t want to take my position for granted,” Lillard said. “It could be worse. I could be in worse situations where I’m not valued the way I am, where I’m not in position to have the type of individual success I’ve had.
And in case anyone doubts Dame’s commitment to winning, he reiterates:
“Obviously, we all play to win a championship, I want to win a championship, I compete to win a championship. But I’ve learned that it’s about so many other things.”