Damian Lillard has never played in the NBA for any team other than the Portland Trailblazers. And based on the way he talks about what that legacy means to him, it seems like he wants it to stay that way for the rest of his career.
Given what’s happened with Kevin Durant and his trade to the Phoenix Suns, the conversation around ring-chasing and superteam-building has reared its head once again, which led to Lillard coming up with this brutal (and frankly, honest) metaphor about Russell Westbrook and the grass not always being greener.
During a recent interview with ESPN, Lillard — who made sure to mention that he considers the new Clippers point guard to be a future Hall of Famer — made the case that Westbrook’s journey in recent years perhaps highlights the perils of leaving the team that drafted you in pursuit of a ring.
“But then you look at Russell Westbrook,” Lillard said. “You leave OKC for Houston, then James [Harden] decided he’s leaving, now Russ is traded to D.C., then you get traded from D.C. to the Lakers, now you’re on your fourth team in four years and in your second year on the team, everybody is talking about how they should trade you. Now you’re coming off the bench. This dude is a Hall of Famer, an MVP. It’s an example that the grass isn’t always greener.”
While Lillard is in his eleventh season with the Portland Trailblazers, he has never made the NBA Finals in that time. Russell Westbrook, on the other hand, went to the 2012 Finals with the team that drafted him — the Oklahoma City Thunder — before eventually leaving for the Houston Rockets and bouncing around to the Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers, and Clippers over the last five years.
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