The NBA is studying the best ways to restart the season. With rumors seeing the light, we get to know some of the reactions of players, some say they’re cool with a certain tournament while others claim they won’t be playing in ‘meaningless’ games. That is the case of Damian Lillard, who doesn’t plan to play a single minute if his team, the Portland Trail Blazers, don’t have a chance to compete for a spot in the playoffs.
If the NBA plays five more games and reaches 70 regular matches to fulfill regional television deals, Lillard has already warned everybody that we won’t take part in any of those games. Talking with Yahoo Sports, the point guard revealed:
“If we come back and they’re just like, ‘We’re adding a few games to finish the regular season,’ and they’re throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don’t have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I’m going to be with my team because I’m a part of the team. But I’m not going to be participating. I’m telling you that right now. And you can put that in there,” Lillard said.
Right now the Trail Blazers rank 9th in the Western Conference (29-37), 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies, who have the last playoffs seed. There are several options on the table right now, but Lillard is not happy with the possibility of playing only five games to finish the regular season.
“If we come back and I don’t have an opportunity to make the playoffs, I will show up to work, I’ll be at practice and I’ll be with my team. I’m going to do all that and then I’m going to be sitting right on that bench during the games,” Lillard told Yahoo Sports. “If they come back and say it’s something like a tournament, play-in style, between the No. 7 and No. 12 seeds, if we’re playing for playoff spots, then I think that’s perfect.”
If Portland Trail Blazers are to resume season with no pathway to playoffs, Damian Lillard tells @YahooSports he won’t play in games: “I’m going to be sitting right on that bench.” https://t.co/SmSTgujb1p pic.twitter.com/hYVmqhGU7A
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 26, 2020
A final decision isn’t made yet, but Dame is clear about what he won’t do if the league decides to give the green light to play only five regular games before entering the postseason.