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If Damian Lillard certainly forces his components out of Portland this offseason, it will most likely well per chance come down to a strained relationship with the entrance place of work.
SNY’s Ian Begley reported on Wednesday that there are rumblings Lillard and Path Blazers fashioned supervisor Neil Olshey are now not in particular close (0: 28 stamp):
“The Knicks, for a while now, bear been making ready for this disaster.”
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“One component right here that I’ve heard is, with Lillard and Neil Olshey, they bear no longer completely considered be aware-to-be aware in Portland. A pair gamers around the league bear roughly jokingly acknowledged, ‘Whenever you be pleased Portland, in the event you be pleased being in Portland, don’t earn near Dame since it is doubtless you’ll well per chance also earn moved.’ Over the direction of Lillard’s tenure, we bear considered gamers that he’s been close with no longer remain on that roster, whether or no longer it be by potential of exchange or signing in other places in free agency.”
That adopted a articulate from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports actions on Sunday that the “big backlash from the Path Blazers’ process to rent a contemporary coach and his considerations on whether or no longer a championship contender could also be constructed became components that will push the franchise player—Lillard—out the door.”
But use a deep breath, Blazers’ followers. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst acknowledged on his Hoop Collective podcast Tuesday: “I don’t factor in, in response to my conversations, that Dame is serious at this point about announcing that he desires out” (h/t Steve Dewald of Blazers Edge).
Start air of the continued postseason and the scheme forward for Ben Simmons in Philadelphia, Lillard’s emotions toward the Blazers’ group—and the likelihood that he could also honest strive to force a exchange one day in the long walk—has dominated most contemporary headlines around the NBA.
And for right reason. The timeframe indispensable particular person will get tossed around pretty a dinky bit, but Lillard suits the outline. The six-time All-Celebrity and 2017-18 All-NBA first-group substitute had one other exquisite season in 2020-21, averaging 28.8 components and 7.5 assists per sport.
His 55-point performance in Recreation 5 of the Western Conference first spherical—even in a 147-140 double additional time loss—like a flash turned the stuff of story after he hit a postseason story 12 threes and scored 17 of his group’s 19 components in the two additional time classes. Plus, he tied the game with threes with below 10 seconds closing in both regulation and the first additional time.
And the reality that his group wasted such an story performance changed into as soon as one thing of a microcosm for Dame’s time in Portland. Despite his stardom and enormous, clutch performances, the Blazers bear never had the supporting solid to earn over the stop, or even reach an NBA Finals.
Presumably Lillard will give it one extra poke along with Portland, to dispute Olshey can originate him a correct contender. Presumably he’ll retire in town that has adored him right by scheme of his occupation.
But if he bear been to poke away, looking out out out a group extra equipped to map close a title, hardly someone would blame him.