Damian Lillard requested a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers in July, and Tuesday he made his trade request a little more specific: not the Golden State Warriors.
On the YouTube show “It Is What It Is,” Lillard made it clear he is not interested in joining the Warriors at any point in the future.
“I respect what they’ve been doing over the last eight, nine years or whatever, and I’m from there, obviously. That’s home. But I can’t go be a part of that,” Lillard said around the 53-minute mark. “They won four championships. What I look like going to try to do that?
“… It don’t even make sense. I’d never do nothing like that. I’d lose every year before I go.”
Lillard has reportedly told the Blazers that the Miami Heat are his preferred trade destination, and it was reported last week he would show up to training camp only in Portland or Miami. So it’s not terribly surprising he wouldn’t want to go to the Warriors, since he doesn’t want to go to anywhere that’s not Miami or the team he’s currently on.
However, it is surprising how much Lillard doesn’t want to go to the Warriors. Statements like, “I can’t go be part of that,” and “I’d lose every year before I go,” reflect a lot of serious thought and consideration. He has reasons for why he feels the way he feels.
While we can’t know what Lillard’s reasons are, on the surface it’s not hard to see why he prefers the Heat. They’ve got young stars like Bam Adebayo, and after losing to the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals, appear to be at the start of their journey as a team. The Warriors, on the other hand, have aging stars in Steph Curry (35), Klay Thompson (33) and Draymond Green (33), and their run of four titles in nine seasons appears to be reaching its natural end.
Lillard wants to go where he wants to go, but in the end, it’s not his choice. The Blazers hold all the power here. And considering how little chatter there’s been about trading Lillard over the past month, he might not end up going anywhere for quite a while.