Ring chasing is the newest NBA strategy, and we're seeing its results play out in the league today. Hopping onto a team with other stars is almost normal now, and teams pose no chance of winning unless they have at least two top-level players on the roster.
Damian Lillard stands as one of the few who is willing to forgo the whole ring-chasing thing if it means sticking it out with the Blazers. Here is what he told Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks.
"I don't feel like I need to prove to anybody how bad I wanna win it ‘cause it shows in my work. It shows in my approach to the game. I'm not gonna go and try to team up with top players in the league cause I know that'll make the chances better because that's not who I am."
"It's been a good time to have to work and grind and do all this stuff for everything that I get because when I get it, I worked for this and its more gratifying. On the outside they gonna say, he'll never win in Portland. They don't have enough, they don't have this. For me it's like, if we never get it done, we never get it done."
Lillard is the last of a dying breed -- one in which loyalty to the team matters over the accolades and Championships earned somewhere else.
So, how close is Portland to achieving that ultimate goal? Even with Lillard locked up, they have a long ways to go. As they embark on yet another postseason run, they will likely not last long, not with the injury to Jusuf Nurkic and not against the fire-power of other teams like the Warriors, Rockets, and Thunder.
Still, having Lillard puts them in a better place than most.