Portland has been to the playoffs five times during Lillard’s career but has never advanced past the second round.
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard is still working to win his first NBA championship but says it isn’t the only thing he’s chasing.
Lillard spoke to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes on the Posted Up podcast and explained what he doesn’t want to give up to win a title.
“I do want to win a championship but it’s other stuff that means more to me,” Lillard said. “It’s almost like I’m not willing to sell myself out for that.”
During Lillard’s seven-year career with Portland, the team has been to the playoffs five consecutive years but never advanced past the second round. The Golden State Warriors have dominated during the superteam era and won championships during three of those five years.
Many players have moved throughout their career in an attempt to join teams that apeared primed to win a title. It has worked out for some like Kevin Durant, who won the NBA title in his first two seasons with the Warriors. However, Lillard knows there’s more than a championship at stake with his career moves.
“When my career is over and I’m gonna know the relationships that I’m gonna have. I am going to know the people who knew I was solid with them regardless of if I was at the top or if I control it,” Lillard said. “All of this stuff. That I did it the right way and I took people’s situations and their families and what could be into consideration before I just made a decision based off, ‘All right, this is what would be best for me. This is what people want to see me do.’ “
The Trail Blazers (34–23) currently sit in fourth place in the Western Conference, well suited for another playoff berth. Lillard leads the team in points per game with 23.6 and averages 6.4 assists and 4.5 rebounds.
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Original Article: https://www.si.com/nba/2019/02/19/damian-lillard-champsionships-sell-myself-out-portland-trail-blazers