Blazers star Damian Lillard earning new moniker: NBA’s most annoying player

Alex Harsha
Alex HarshaJun 27, 2023, 2:46 PM
Blazers star Damian Lillard earning new moniker: NBA’s most annoying player

Blazers star Damian Lillard earning new moniker: NBA’s most annoying player

Given his age and the current state of his team, Damian Lillard is not going to win a championship with the Portland Trail Blazers. But with every turn in the will-he-or-won’t-he saga that plays out in interview clips and coded messages on social media, Lillard moves one step closer to locking up a different title: The NBA’s most annoying player.

Dame Time was must-watch television when it meant swishing 40-foot shots in the playoffs. Lately, it’s got a different connotation. It’s time for Lillard to say what he means and mean what he says about his future with the only franchise he’s ever played for.

Enough already.

Lillard, who turns 33 in a couple weeks, is at a career crossroads. His first 11 seasons in the league have produced some excellent basketball and a couple good playoff runs but no real chances to win a title. And with Portland drafting Scoot Henderson at No. 3 overall, unable to find a suitable trade that would net another ready-made star, the reality is that it’s time to pivot toward a plan that might — might — make the Trail Blazers contenders by the time Lillard’s prime is long in the past.

Lillard, commendably in many ways, has been firm over the years that he wants to stay in Portland and be forever associated with that city and team. That has put him in stark contrast with a litany of stars in the last decade who have demanded their exit from circumstances they didn’t like regardless of contract status.

But gauging by the comments Lillard has made in various interviews lately or the messages he’s laundered through unofficial spokespeople in the media, it is clear that he’s wavering.

Trade the pick and perhaps some other young assets that would allow Lillard to make a couple more runs as he moves into his mid- and late-30s or draft Henderson and go all-in on the youth movement — which would obviously include getting significant assets in a Lillard trade.

Simple, right? Apparently not. And as a result, the rest of us are rolling our eyes so much that it might soon become a new medical condition.

What happened between Lillard and the Trail Blazers in the days and weeks leading up to the draft can best be described as some of the lamest, most passive-aggressive behavior we’ve seen in these inevitable divorce situations — and that’s saying something given the high bar LeBron James has set for his peers in that department.

Lillard believes he can win in Portland but doesn’t want to play with kids. He might or might not like the idea of playing in Miami. The team either did or did not communicate its plans with Lillard as the draft was approaching. And, in perhaps the most laughable bit of news that has come out, Yahoo! Sports reported that the Blazers weren’t trying to trade Lillard to Miami but rather were hoping to put forth a “compelling package” that would net Bam Adebayo off a team that just played in the NBA Finals.

Uh huh.

But the latest, most nauseating development surely came on Monday when Chris Haynes of TNT and Bleacher Report — a reporter who is well known to have a close relationship with Lillard — said that Lillard and agent Aaron Goodwin were meeting with Blazers executives to discuss the direction of the franchise.


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    Alex Harsha
    Alex Harsha

    Alex Harsha is a full-time writer.Before becoming a full-time writer, Alex was a public school teacher. He teaches writing workshops to children and adults. Lives in Connecticut & Works on next novel.

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